The Plainfield Plan Commission met on Thursday, July 8, 2004. In attendance were Mr. Thibo, Mr. Matrana, Mr. McPhail, Mr. Kirchoff and Mr. Haase.
ROLL CALL/DETERMINATION OF QUORUM
Mr. Carlucci administered the roll call.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Mr. Kirchoff made a motion to approve the minutes of the Plainfield Plan Commission of June 7, 2004 as submitted. Second by Mr. Matrana. Motion carried.
OATH OF TESTIMONY
Mr. Daniel administered the Oath of Testimony.
Mr. Haase reviewed the Guidelines Governing the Conduct of Public Hearings. At this time I will ask Attorney Daniel, as we are short two members on this board for voting purposes, to please explain that to all of the petitioners.
Mr. Daniel said this is a seven-member commission. To take action on any petition tonight requires a majority vote of the full council, which would mean four votes out of seven. We have one member absent and one vacancy, which means for any action to be taken on a petition tonight it will require four out of five votes of the members attending tonight. If anyone has some concern about presenting their petition tonight to a five-member board instead of seven, this would be your time to come and ask for a continuance from the commission.
Mr. Haase said so we need four votes out of the five members present here tonight. While the petitioners consider that Mr. Higbee we have one request for a continuance that has already been presented to us prior to the meeting tonight on DP-04-015.
Mr. Higbee said that is actually only here because last month when I informed you of a continuance, I mistakenly asked you for a continuance to this hearing when they actually requested a continuance until August. That is because we determined that a plat had to be filed in association with the development plan, which delays the process. Really I need to request this on their behalf since I requested it incorrectly last month.
Mr. Haase said we have a request for a continuance until August 2 for the DP-04-015, the New Out Patient Facility for Hamilton Center, Inc.
Mr. McPhail made a motion to grant the continuance of DP-04-015 for the New Out Patient Facility for Hamilton Center, Inc. until the August 2, 2004 meeting. Second by Mr. Thibo. Motion carried.
Mr. Haase asked, are there any of the other petitioners present in the audience tonight who would care to ask for a continuance until we have at least one more member of the board present? Being no one coming forward we will not entertain any more continuance requests and we will start out with ILP-03-070, the Stoops Buick.
Mr. Higbee said I plan to be very brief on this because you have seen this request before. This is continued from a previous Plan Commission where you suggested the continuance because there were some pending issues between the petitioner and the property owner out there. There was also a pending of the Board of Zoning Appeals petition that has since taken place and I will explain that in a minute. So, you have seen this request before. It is a pylon sign along SR267 near Airwest Boulevard for the Stoops Buick facility. Recently on June 21 at the Board of Zoning Appeals variances were granted for that pylon, the same pylon sign that is being requested in this petition tonight. A condition was placed on that that it would be subject to limiting the wall signs that they be no more than what is already in the package. So, no additional wall signs could be added but they did grant approval of the pylon sign, which I estimated at 100 square feet in size and 20 feet in height. I will tell you at the BZA the petitioner’s representative said that his calculations for the sign area were different than mine, a little bit smaller. But in any case you have the sign in your packet and I will leave it at that unless you have any questions.
Mr. McPhail said I do have a question on your report here on Table “A”. The proposed revised Sign Ordinance would allow for a 100 square foot pylon sign and 20 feet high.
Mr. Higbee said no. Table “A” is saying that under today’s ordinance a 48 square foot, six foot tall sign would be permitted for this outlot but they are proposing a 100 square foot, 20 foot tall pylon sign. It doesn’t refer to what the new ordinance would permit. The new ordinance amendments that are being considered for perhaps later this summer or fall, but have not been adopted, would allow a somewhat larger ground sign but it would still not permit the pylon sign that is being requested.
Mr. Bud Green at 535 Sundown Circle, Plainfield, Indiana, Bud Green Associates appearing for the petitioner said we did some pictures. We looked at the traffic and presented this to the Board of Zoning Appeals basically on the premise that with traffic backed up four ways in this intersection you cannot see a ground sign and you can’t almost see the building. We thought at first we would have that problem with semi trailers because of the truck terminal there but the pictures that I presented to the BZA indicated that even small trucks and vans, if you were sitting in your vehicle going south, that the northbound traffic on SR267 effectively blocked the ground sign at both of our entrances on Agan Drive at the rear of our property. We felt like in the end that we desired equal treatment with Fifth Third Bank, which has a sign, which is nearly identical in square footage area to what we have proposed. Some of the folks in this room won’t like me to say this but the Buick’s demographics, which you all know, is an older demographic. We felt like it was important to have that identification sign high enough that it could be seen over normal day to day traffic even though we are going to have to direct people around our building. In order to make this facility less like a retail oriented strip with neon and extra lights and arrows and a lot of lighting we have taken special care to soften the appearance of the building and to limit the amount of lighted signage on the building. In fact, as Mr. Higbee noted, everything else that we do on the site is within the current sign ordinance. The Stoops and Buick logo signs on both the front and the back of the building flush mounted, anodized, illumine and they are not lighted nor are they backlighted. They are just simply flood lit. The rest of the signs are limited on the building to a service entrance sign and directional ground signs around the property. In view of our competitors and our cohorts in the business we felt like this petition was fair and we urge your acceptance of this variance in light of the totally subdued package for the entire property. Thank you.
Mr. Carlucci said you might point out Mr. Green that actually the variance has already been granted. All of this is architectural review. They are two separate items. That sign is approved by the BZA, the size of the sign. The only thing that they are looking at tonight is how it looks.
Mr. Green said that sign is provided by General Motors. We don’t own it. They have a national contract to maintain it and keep the lamps lit in it so it will always be in good repair. You will never have to come knocking on our door and say your sign is dirty or you need to clean it. We will not own it. It is strictly leased. I guess I don’t need to say that we gave up a couple of other signs to get this because we have already done that.
Mr. Haase asked, is there anyone in the audience who would care to speak on this public hearing on Stoops Buick? Being no one coming forward we will close the public portion of this hearing. If there are any questions from the board members, please state them. If not, the Chair would accept a motion to act on this public hearing.
Mr. Thibo made a motion to approve ILP-03-070 subject to the following conditions regarding the development within 600 feet of a Gateway Corridor finding that:
The Development Plan will comply with all applicable Development Standards of the district which the site is located.
The Development Plan will comply with all applicable provisions of the Subdivision Control Ordinance for which a waiver has not been granted.
The Development Plan will comply with all applicable provisions for Architectural Review for which a waiver has not been granted.
The proposed development is appropriate to the site and its surrounding.
The proposed development is consistent with the intent and purpose of the Plainfield Zoning Ordinance.
Mr. Haase said the second public hearing for tonight will be PP-04-006, DP-04-017 and DP-04-019 for the Cambridge Development Group.
Mr. Higbee said as you saw in your agenda, there were three different petitions here that are all for the same project. One is the primary plat subdividing a lot into two lots. The other two petitions are architectural review for an office building and a development incentive request to permit an ingress/egress easement in a side yard. I want to correct what I have listed as the petitioner on the agenda. If you look on your Staff Report, I listed two different petitioners, ReMax, Mr. Marsiglio and his wife. The petitioners are here and the Cambridge Development Group for the plat. I would point out up front that the development incentive request it is my understanding that they are requesting a waiver of fees because they feel that the ingress/egress easement along the north side property line that required the development incentive was brought about by some requests for access that the Town made because of improvements that are going on, etc. in the area. The counter to that would be that it is the lots’ widths that probably brought about the need for that. You could look at it two ways. So, I leave that with you to consider. Maybe when the petitioners come up in a bit, they can explain why they would like a waiver of the filing fee for the development incentive.
Mr. Haase asked, what is the fee?
Mr. Higbee said the fee is $400.00. So, we accepted the petition without requiring the fee for that because they were requesting a waiver. But as you will see on the site plan on your packet, the office building is relative small, 9,586 square feet. It is for a realtor’s office. It would be located on a lot, a newly created lot, as a result of the plat request behind an existing hotel along Clarks Creek Road and south of Hadley Road. As you know, on the Clarks Creek and the Hadley intersection there are planned imminent improvements out there. As I understand it, there would be a traffic signal put in that location. So, there are going to be substantially different conditions near that intersection in the future than what you have today. That lot split that creates this building site created a concern on the part of Staff that the lot to the north that would be between this lot and Hadley Road might have access problems if they didn’t have a shared ingress/egress easement. That again is the development incentive request that I mentioned. That easement straddles the property line doing away with what normally would be a side buffer yard with some landscaping in it. However, taking that request into account they have met all of the landscaping provisions. They have actually doubled landscaping on the site as result of the development incentive request. You can see that when you look at how substantial the landscaping is.
At the time that I wrote this Staff Report it was unclear to me what the mixture of building materials were because we hadn’t been presented a calculation sheet showing the percentages of materials in each facade. But it was clear that it was a combination of stone and EFIS as the primary materials. That combination would require a waiver. At the time I wrote this it wasn’t clear whether it would but although the combination of the two materials exceeds the normal 60% standard that we require for a primary material neither material itself meets that standard as I understand it. That is why it requires a waiver of the building materials requirements.
I would also point out that there is an elevated outdoor wooden deck on this site.
The lighting plan has ornamental lights on the building. They are 40-watt incandescent fixtures, which I would consider low-level architectural lighting under the architectural provisions. So, those do not require a waiver because they are low-level lighting.
The Design Review Committee reviewed this request and recommended approval with the usual types of conditions, which I won’t repeat here but they are repeated in the motion in your Staff Report should you want to consider them.
They have provided for easements along Clarks Creek Road to accommodate the road improvements as I mentioned earlier that are going to be necessary out there. It would provide for the widened road and sidewalk to be placed in that area.
When you make your motion, I left blank the file date in your motion because I wasn’t sure when the plans would come in for this hearing. Let me read that file date to you. The plans came in on July 2, 2004 so you may want to insert that date in item number one that is half way down through your motion where it says, “Subject to the following conditions.”
Another item to mention going back to the plat there is a public road that you are probably all aware that has existed on the south end of this lot for a long time. It has never been named. It has never been dedicated to the Town but it was built to public road standards and has always operated that way. It is my understanding that Cambridge Development, who requested the plat, is willing to dedicate that road at this time as part of the plat. I suggested that under the plat motion as a required condition. That’s all that I have.
Mr. McPhail said I have a question on the building materials. You say it has to be 60% of what?
Mr. Higbee said the primary material has to be 60% EFIS or brick.
Mr. McPhail asked, is that inclusive of doors and windows?
Mr. Higbee said no. That is exclusive of doors and windows.
Mr. Higbee asked, do it does require a waiver?
Mr. Higbee said yes. I have some material samples. I thought what I would do is give those to the petitioner when they come up to speak to you about the project because they have a much better understanding of the materials that they are using than I do. They will be able to show you some of those.
Mr. Ryan Lindley with Painting Engineering at 698 Tower Road said as Mr. Higbee explained here, when we started this project, we kind of got into the layout phase of it. You all have a copy of sketch plan one as part of the development incentive but this was the original layout and we come to find out from more detail from the Town Staff about the Clarks Creek Road improvements. And also the traffic concerns about this location. I would also point out that this is next to Amerihost. I think you are all aware of that. There are not a lot of developments that can choose this lot or make this lot work. So, this was a prime developer to come in here to take this lot. So, this was our first stab at it and as Mr. Higbee mentioned, the Town has some concerns with road improvements and traffic. When we came back in, the Town suggested that we go through the development incentive portion, which in turn created a drive access road along the north side taking up a side yard setback that we originally could abide by. And, of course, as Mr. Higbee also pointed out we granted an easement for a Clarks Creek Road improvement. Being that we had a workable lot at the beginning we kind of felt like that we wanted to work with the Town for the Town’s best interest so obviously we went with the shared drive on the north. Mr. Marsiglio feels like since we worked with the Town on this that the fees should be waived. Anthony do you want to speak a little bit on the building materials?
Mr. Anthony Marsiglio at 1580 Deerfield Dr., Plainfield said my wife and I are the co-owners of ReMax Home Pro. What was a little confusing at the onset was that this lot was created to the north and that is why there had to be mutual access between the two lots. In fact, this lot was created when the developer did a quick claim to Amerihost because they did not want the entire property. So, when you look at the lot numbers, this lot to the north is actually Lot 8 and it is platted. This lot here is Lot 9 so what they did in fact was created Lot 9 and Lot 9A. We purchased 9A unaware that it was not platted. When we went to Mr. Belcher, we were informed that the Town would like 10 feet of our property. At the same time they suggested a mutual egress as to where it is located now, which understanding the whole system and how the lights were going to be situated there I thought it was a good idea. They also asked if Cambridge would like to have an ingress off of Hadley. Once I kind of knew the entire picture I objected to that because all they could foresee was a red light here at Clarks Creek Road and Hadley a number of people wanting to get to this new hotel and convention center eventually and using our back strip, which would allow them to come right through and make it dangerous for anyone in our parking lot. So, Cambridge did agree to not have that egress so their only egress is through here. And what they have asked is that we allow them to also exit here so that left turning would be up here and that was fine with us. So, that is kind of a background of how this developed.
I was not aware of the term development incentive. Once I was made aware of that and that I had to double the landscaping as well as pay a $400.00 fee. I didn’t think that was fair because I was basically going along with what the Town of Plainfield wanted, which I agree is probably a better use.
Mr. Carlucci said I might shed some light on that quick claim. That was in the County at the time and they were developing that hotel but the only way that they could do it was to have that lot, as big as it was, as soon as they got the approval, they quick claimed it the other way. I know that is the reason that they did. They were just trying to meet a County requirement at the time because we were in the process of annexing that part of the interchange out there. It has been about 15 years ago that they did all of that.
Mr. Marsiglio said when it comes to the actual materials, probably a lot of people in this room don’t know but I used to be a stonemason. I have actually used this material. It is actually a manmade material but when it is slated, it actually looks like stone. It comes from Canada. There is a new site in Georgia where they are going to be making it but it is not up yet and running. I tried to get one over the July weekend but it is a holiday up there and I was not able to get a piece. Otherwise you would have one in front of you.
When I did the original layout, because of the 60%, I tried fiddling with the windows and the windows would become too small. We are a real estate office so we are basically taking the height of the desk. I wanted the windows to start just above the desks. When I played with the architect to actually have the stone go, say a foot higher to meet that 60%, it had the visual effect that I ran out of money and couldn’t finish it with stone. I know it sounds funny but that is how it looked. Probably some of you know Buck Reedy. He is the architect and he is the one that told me that does not look good at all. So, that is why we ended up at the windowsill height. He did those calculations of 51% so that is just basically an appearance thing.
In terms of the actual colors I have a sample of the shingle. I don’t know if you want me to pass that around. With the dryvit, as I call it, I know that is a brand name but what we wanted to do was create an effect where we have what is called a traditional grey on the stone material and it goes to a much lighter dryvit. And then there is an accentuation under the soffit and fascia to bring back a darker look. This would be the piece right above the stone and this would be kind of the board that would go across just under the soffit and fascia. The materials would be such that there would be no maintenance to the building. I want a 30-year shingle as well as illumine soffit and fascia so that I’m not painting. By the look of the landscaping design I’m going to be doing a lot of landscaping. That is maybe a little sour point with me. If you look at the landscaping drawing, I don’t even know if you are going to see the building. There are a lot of trees and bushes. We ended up going from a Level 1 to a Level 2 so I would probably like some relief from that, somewhere between a Level 1 and 2 if that is possible. When you look at that, it is a jungle.
One other item that I might want to mention is in terms of naming what I call a “no name” street if it would be possible at all, I don’t know if that is something that you do or who does that in Plainfield, but a suggestion was made that it be called Chestnut Way. If that is possible, that would be appreciated.
Mr. Lindley said I would like to make one last point. The landscaping was doubled through the development incentive, which in turn was due to the Town’s request of the shared drive along the north to, in effect, take away our 10 foot buffer yard. That is why we feel a little latitude is in order especially when we are up against adjoining similar uses.
Mr. Troy Terew with Lewis Engineering at 3315 E. Main St., Suite D, Plainfield, Indiana said I was talking to Mr. Higbee and looking re-platting Lot 9. There is a road south. It is actually south of the property that currently has an ingress/egress easement. However, per conversations with Mr. Higbee and Mr. Larry Goen he is willing to dedicate that as a separate document as a right-of-way to benefit the Town of Plainfield in front of Clarks Creek Road west of the other public road. Since it is actually not part of Lot 9 itself, it is adjacent to Lot 9 it wouldn’t be part of the plat itself. It would be a separate right-of-way dedication document.
Mr. Haase said but he is willing to do that.
Mr. Terew said yes I have been told that he is willing to do that.
Mr. Haase asked, is there anyone else in the audience who would care to speak on the petition before us? Being no one coming forward Mr. Higbee what are the number of waivers that are being requested tonight? We are requesting a waiver on the building materials.
Mr. Higbee said right.
Mr. Haase said that is one and you have that in here.
Mr. Higbee said you have the use of the side yard, which is the development incentive request that requires its own set of findings. So, that there is a series of statements in here that you normally read with a development incentive so that is in there. And then you have the waiver of the filing fees. I didn’t put anything in here for the waiver of the filing fees so you would have to add that.
Mr. Haase said I also thought I heard him ask for a waiver of the landscaping.
Mr. Higbee said that is the first that I have heard of that request so there is nothing in here for that. In my opinion to do that it would require a variance. He is using a development incentive, which requires the increased landscaping and then he is saying I would like to not meet that standard. So, to me that would require a variance of that standard of the Zoning Ordinance.
Mr. Haase said, the street naming, the Plan Commission does not do that.
Mr. Higbee said I have been told that the Town Council has the responsibility for naming the streets. There is some language in the Subdivision Control Ordinance that talks about the Plan Commission so you might want to consider making a recommendation.
Mr. Haase said the developer usually names the streets and then usually dedicates them to the Town.
Mr. Higbee said that is right. When a primary plat comes in, the street names are usually on there.
Mr. Haase said so maybe when Cambridge Development dedicates that street right-of-way to the Town, then that name of that street could be determined by the Cambridge Development people at the time.
Mr. Higbee said when it is done as a separate instrument, I’m not sure of the Town’s policy.
Mr. Carlucci said I think the Town Council has to accept that instrument separately from a planning process. You are right. They are normally in plats. There are already names on the plats when they come in. All we do is check and make sure that they don’t duplicate something else especially within our postal district. Other than that when they bring that separate document in to the Council to accept it, it may have a name on it or it may not. The Council will have to make a decision at that point.
Mr. Haase said so, on the street name my recommendation would be that when it gets brought into the Town Council, that it be given a name at that time by the developer when that separate document comes in. It would be the Cambridge Development that would be doing it and not you folks because it is not part of this lot as I was told but they are willing to do that in a separate document instrument.
Mr. McPhail asked, with the increased landscaping where do they have to go to a Level 2?
Mr. Higbee said when you eliminate a side yard, the entire site has to be doubled, the perimeter, foundation plantings, the whole thing. That is the highest development incentive of any. Other types of development incentives don’t require you to go to the whole site like that.
Mr. Haase said the only way to keep the side yard and still have that 10-foot ingress/egress would be to, of course, shrink the building size.
Mr. Higbee said they had the same size building on the original plans so they did have a workable plan initially. But to provide that shared access is what kicked in the development incentive.
Mr. Marsiglio said again we are going back to two meetings ago but we discussed the issue of parking. Currently we have an office where there are times during the day we do not even have a parking spot. So, to us the greatest importance on this site was parking. In order to try to meet the parking we created what we call site plan one. With site plan one there were no development incentives, it met all of the parking and it met all of the requirements. It would have flown perfectly. The concern was brought up to us over the concern in terms of the traffic pattern because of the widening of Clarks Creek Road. We were informed that it was preferred that we have the ingress where you currently see it now, which we agreed to. Once we agreed upon that we were informed we were asking for a development incentive. I guess I raised my hands and I said I didn’t ask for that. I was told to do that. From my prospective I would like to go along with the Town. I understand how it is going to be a better access because you have two accesses off of Clarks Creek Road instead of one. So, I understood all of that. I just feel like I’m being punished for something that I really didn’t want in the first place. And when you are asking me to double the landscaping, I guess I feel that is a little too much as well as the $400.00 and that is a minor issue.
In terms of the size of the building if we were to move it down, you not only negate the parking in the front but you negate our parking at the south. So, that is why we ended up with this plan.
Mr. Haase asked, can I see plan number one again?
Mr. Marsiglio said basically we had Clarks Creek Road. The access was coming in around the center of the property currently to the front, which created front parking. Which was another issue that we went through with Don because without that parking in the front you have handicap parking at the park. To get to my front door where the handicap access it is over 100 yards. That is a lot to ask somebody who is handicap to go all the way around the building. So, we did have parking to the south, parking in the front as well as this parking area here. In order to have the ingress here there was not enough room and remember that they had taken 10 feet off the front. We do not have any parking in the front and if we were to move the building down so that it were far enough away from the ingress, we would then have no parking here. So, it is just one of those situations.
Mr. Haase said the Plan Commission does not have the authority to lower the landscaping requirements here. If the petitioner would want, he could proceed with a BZA hearing that then could lower that, if they so decide. They would either be in favor of lowering it or against lowering it but it cannot be done at this meeting tonight.
Mr. Higbee said that is correct.
Mr. Haase said as far as the waiver of the fees I think we will have that as another motion and take care of that separately from anything that we are motioning here tonight after all of the other motions are done. With all of that in mind I will ask one more time if there is anyone in the audience who would care to speak on this matter? Being no one coming forward is there anything the petitioner would like to close with?
Mr. Marsiglio said we are kind of under a constraint time wise. If going to the BZA and asking for that landscape reduction is going to mean a continuance, we are not in favor of that.
Mr. Haase said I don’t think it would. I think we can take care of our voting here and then the decision is up to you as to whether you want to go before the BZA. If you decide to go before the BZA, the soonest that you could probably do that would be August. He still has time for legal notification and all of that but that has nothing to do with our decision here tonight. It won’t be based on what might happen whether you do or do not go to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Mr. McPhail said that wouldn’t delay your starting date. You could start that and if you didn’t get the waiver, you have to put the landscaping in.
Mr. McGillem said I would just like to verify what Mr. Marsiglio indicated. What we have here at this intersection you have to recognize the design plans and changes that we have going in right now with Clarks Creek Road and Cambridge Way and Hadley Road this intersection at Clarks Creek Road is going to essentially replace the major intersection at Cambridge Way and Hadley. With that being the case with the traffic and the development that is proposed along Clarks Creek Road we did not want that corner lot and the lot along Clarks Creek Road any more intersections than this one drive coming out. So, when we met them to discuss this drive and we also met with Larry Goen at Cambridge Development, all of us agreed that this system would work. When we did that with the developer and the applicant here, we did not intend to create a situation that was going to add cost and application fees to them for this. We are creating and they are helping to establish a much safer access for this entire corner once we get all of these improvements done. Whatever the Town can do from the standpoint of assisting them in minimizing impacts and penalties for them agreeing with us I think needs to be done.
Mr. Thibo asked, will Clarks Creek be one way coming north?
Mr. McGillem said no. Clarks Creek will not be one way. Cambridge nor Clarks Creek will be one way. Clarks Creek will intersect and tie into Cambridge. The intersection where Cambridge and Hadley is right now with the signal will have restricted movements and the signal will move Cambridge up to Clarks Creek Road. So, you will have more of a circulation movement and you will have more distance for the stacking between SR267 rather than stacking at the intersection where now you only have the one entrance into Cambridge Way by it being a dead end cul-de-sac. So, you are going to create a circulation pattern with the development on Clarks Creek Road. Clarks Creek Road will be a three section. We will be widening out Hadley Road to SR267 to a six-lane section. The five-lane section will be continuing with our next project to east of Clarks Creek Road. The signal will move up to Clarks Creek Road and Hadley. At this intersection we don’t want another access onto this lot at the end of Day’s Inn off of Hadley Road and we don’t want another intersection or drive on Clarks Creek Road to this lot between this access and Hadley Road. This allows both of these lots to be developed with only one shared access. We are looking at both of these lots together for a better improved access through here and it should not be a penalty to Mr. Marsiglio or the developer agreeing to this concept.
Mr. Kirchoff said I would suggest that you get the other four members of the Plan Commission copies of our proposed plan down there. The Town Council has seen it and agreed to it. I think it would help the other members to know what we are thinking of down there. It is really making some improvements in that area. So, when you can do that, I think it would be helpful to share with the other members.
Mr. Haase said with that said we will close the public portion of this hearing and if there is any further discussion from the board members, please do it at this time. It looks like we have actually three different motions here tonight.
Mr. McPhail made a motion that the Plan Commission approve the Development Plan/Architectural Review and Development Plan and Development Incentives DP-04-017 and DP-04-019 finding that:
Regarding Architectural Review for commercial development within 600’ of a Gateway Corridor that the Plan Commission finds that:
The Development Plan complies with all applicable development standards of the district in which the site is located.
The Development Plan complies with all applicable provisions of the Subdivision Control Ordinance for which a waiver has not been granted.
The Development Plan complies with all applicable provisions for Architectural Review for which a waiver has not been granted.
The proposed development is appropriate to the site and its surrounding.
The proposed development is consistent with the intent and purpose of this ordinance.
Regarding a waiver for use of a required side yard the Plan Commission finds that:
The required plant unit value in all required front yards and required front buffer yards, whether located on a street internal to the integrated center or industrial park or on the perimeter of the integrated center or industrial park has been increased by a multiple of 2.0 or more.
The required plant unit value in all required side or rear yards and required side or rear buffer yards on the perimeter of the integrated center or industrial park has been increased by a multiple of 2.0 or more.
The area of required foundation planting areas located along the building has been increased by a multiple of 2.0 or more.
The plant unit value contained in such enlarged foundation planting areas has been increased by a multiple of 2.0 or more.
The proposed development is appropriate to the site and its surroundings.
The proposed development is consistent with the intent and purpose of this ordinance.
Regarding a waiver regarding alternate building materials as proposed the Plan Commission finds that:
It represents an innovative use of building materials, site design features or landscaping which will enhance the use or value of area properties.
Is consistent with and compatible with other developments located along the Gateway Corridor.
Is consistent with the intent and purpose of the Gateway Corridor and this ordinance.
And that such approval be subject to the following conditions:
Substantial compliance with the site plan, landscape plan, building elevations, lighting details, and other associated details file dated July 2, 2004.
All building elevations shall be provided and material calculations for each facade shall be provided.
A plan for ground mechanical units and screening shall be provided.
If lighting is added in the future, a lighting plan shall be provided for Staff review and approval.
Mr. Haase said we will now move onto DP-04-016, Saratoga Professional Plaza.
Mr. Higbee said this is a Secondary Detailed Plan at the Saratoga PUD. What we used for the Secondary Detailed Plan is an Architectural Review petition. It is for a 10,800 square foot office building to be located on the outlot north of Main Street on the west side of Saratoga Boulevard. There is no plat and there is no development incentive. This is strictly the Secondary Detailed Plan, which is a second step of a PUD. The original was the 1994 PUD rezoning for Saratoga. This is the follow-up development plan for the lot.
The PUD development standards for 1994 simply referred back to the ten existing GB, General Business District. We don’t have that district today. We have the GC, General Commercial District, which is similar. But the standards really weren’t what we have today in our Gateway Corridor commercial type standards. Having said that even though they are not required to meet that standard, because it goes back to that 1994 approval, I believe they have met that standard. They meet our current Gateway Corridor standards providing a brick office building, providing landscaping, etc. There was a ground sign in the requirements, which they have revised because they understand that we are looking at amending our Sign Ordinance. They might be able to get a bigger sign in the near future so on their own they have decided to withdraw that from the request.
They are using ornamental lighting, which when their architect stands up in a few minutes, he will hand out a sample of that ornamental lighting on the building. There is no pole lighting in the parking lot. So, I did not require a photometric plan.
The Design Review Committee reviewed this and they did have a few suggested conditions for approval. One of them had to do with a dumpster door revision that actually the architect came up with that on his own so we just incorporated that. The landscape plan should be further reviewed by Staff and the reason that was there, and also there on the last request that you heard, is because our landscaper was not at the Design Review Committee. So, we wanted the opportunity to have her look at those plans but we really don’t see any problems with them. There was a question about an interior path connection. They have since added that in the plan that is in your packets, a pathway coming out of the building to the pathway along Saratoga Parkway. As I mentioned, the freestanding signs would not be included at this time.
This probably is not going to effect what you are looking at here tonight, but just for you to know, there was a lot of discussion about emergency vehicle access to the site. It actually required some potential redesign if it wasn’t done a certain way. What they ended up with was an easement on the neighboring site to the north and some plans to eventually provide paving up there, if necessary. The fire marshal was happy with that plan, as I understood it, in our last conversation.
There was a note that I added that is under your motion under the condition portion of your motion, number two in the middle of the page. It talks about a passing blister on Saratoga Parkway to be required at the time the next adjacent lot develops. Mr. McGillem may want to comment on that. I carried that forward from a previous analysis from the lot to the north, which we thought was going to be the Avatar headquarters a few months back. That condition was there and the idea was when you get one lot in place, it may not be an issue. When we have two or three lots developing up there, it could be a traffic control issue up there. I think that is where that came from so if Mr. McGillem desires that to still be in there, I have put it in the motion for you to consider.
Mr. Haase asked, would that next adjacent lot be to the north of this lot?
Mr. Higbee said potentially I would say that it could be north or south. Are you only concerned with the north?
Mr. McGillem said it would be the one to the north. If the lot to the south develops where this located, it will probably be restricted to a right in/right out because it is going to be in the median section of Saratoga. That was the reason for trying to get this drive shared and what we indicated when Avatar came in, it was going to be the first one with a shared drive that will set up at that point. If they put the drive in with only one building and size, they wouldn’t have to put the passing blister in. Now since they are not going in and this is going in at this location they will be putting the drive in. We are just extending the same situation that we had with Avatar.
Mr. Haase asked, so you still think it needs to be kept in there?
Mr. McGillem said it still needs to be kept in there. It will be put in at the time but it should be spelled out in the motion when you are talking about the lot to the north, that it will share this driveway.
Mr. Higbee said the last thing that I would say is I left the filing date out of here again because I didn’t have the most recent revisions at the time I wrote this report. The file date would be July 2, 2004.
Mr. Haase asked, do we have those with us?
Mr. Higbee said those are the July 2 revisions that you have but when I had written the report, they came in late and I had to throw them in packets and deliver them to you.
Mr. Haase said at this time we will ask the petitioner to come forward. Also at this time Mr. Quintana I don’t believe that you were here when we administered the Oath of Testimony.
Mr. Quintana said yes I was. I’m with Sebree and Associates Architects. I’m here representing Mr. Mike Freeman tonight who is in the audience and would be happy to answer any questions if you would like to direct them toward the owner of the building. I also have Ryan Lindley here to my right who is with Banning Engineering who designed the site engineering for us.
We brought a three-D rendering of our building and I have included here in your packets a smaller revised rendering. This also has the light fixtures that we presented to DRC. The ornamental fixture that appears on the front of the building is a decorative ornamental fixture. It is going to have a 100-watt metal halide. It is similar to the ornamental fixtures that you see on the First National Bank here in Town that we just recently opened. The owner has chosen at this time not to put any lights in the parking light. We have provided some conduits underneath the pavement. If at some time in the future, he would like to put in light fixtures, we anticipate that we would have to come back to DRC and to this board to get that approval. So, at this time there are no light poles in the fixtures themselves.
As you can tell, the building is 98% brick. We have provided the calculations on the elevations that are in that packet. We have stone quoins on the perimeter corners and keystones under the windows, above the windows over the arches. We feel that this is a very attractive building. As Mr. Higbee said, we met the corridor requirements even though that wasn’t necessarily required for this PUD development. We are here tonight to ask for your approval.
As Mr. Higbee mentioned, there was a comment in his letter referring to this passing blister. We were not notified of that in TAC or DRC and we would like to request that if that is in the motion, that it not be part of the approval motion tonight but maybe considered for when we do the next property to the north. We would be happy to look at it then but we would like some time to discuss that with TAC and DRC and it not necessarily be a condition of the approval tonight since the owner really has not had a chance to react to that himself. With that I would be happy to answer any questions.
Mr. Thibo asked, how many offices are in the building?
Mr. Quintana said we have six bays. It is basically a shell building. The owner is going to take the bay to the farther end facing the street. At this end he has a couple of tenants that were doing some preliminary plan designs right now. I think it is his hope that by the time we start construction he will have 50% of the building committed to.
Mr. Haase asked, Mr. Higbee by requiring this passing blister in this motion here tonight tell me what we are really requiring when we do that?
Mr. Higbee said what I did is I carried the condition that you required for Avatar referring to the lot to the south being this lot. But I was just speaking with Mr. McGillem and he indicated to me that it wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t a condition of tonight’s approval. It should be a condition on the next lot.
Mr. McGillem said when we did Avatar, it was not a condition that Avatar put in the passing blister as part of their project or they would be responsible for the passing blister. The shared drive would be there to the lot to the south and if Avatar had gone in on the approval that you gave to them and had installed the shared drive and then this installation would come in, they would have had to put the passing blister in. We are just reversing the situation that we had with Avatar. Right now this is going in first. They are putting in the shared drive. Whoever develops whether it is Avatar or whoever develops that lot that is sharing this drive that this applicant is putting in would then be responsible for having the passing blister.
Mr. Haase said I will ask the petitioner here if we believe a passing blister at Saratoga Parkway should be required at the time the adjacent lot to the north develops? And that the developer of that lot be required to put in that passing blister?
Mr. Quintana said yes but we kind of feel though that it would be putting a condition on that. And already proves that the passing blister be put on when in effect what we are hearing from Mr. Higbee and Mr. McGillem is they see no problem with this development here going on without the blister.
Mr. Haase said right but we are going to require just in the motion here tonight that whoever develops that northern lot adjacent to you who uses the same ingress/egress that they be required to put in that passing blister and not you folks.
Mr. Quintana asked, but does that commit them to doing it without having representation from this board?
Mr. Haase said well I think we were set to do it in the reverse.
Mr. Daniel said I think the problem with that Mr. Haase is if that becomes a condition of their approval and somebody later develops that lot and it is not put in, basically the approval violated one of the conditions by the other lot not complying.
Mr. Haase said so we really couldn’t have done it with the Avatar lot.
Mr. Daniel said yes you could have.
Mr. Haase asked, because?
Mr. Daniel said I don’t know what the other situation was with the Avatar lot but if that is required for the Avatar lot, then it would have been a condition of them developing that lot. But to add that condition onto this lot could put them out of compliance when that other lot is developed on this plot.
Mr. Haase said I was just hearing that Avatar wasn’t going to be required to put it in. That the lot to the south was going to be required to put it in. That is what I thought I heard Mr. McGillem say.
Mr. Quintana said what he said was Avatar was first and they weren’t going to be required. They were going to say when the next lot, which is ours, is developed, they were going to make us put the passing blister in. So, in reverse we should not be required to put the passing blister in as part of this plan but the next lot when it comes before this board, that is when you can require them to put in the passing blister.
Mr. McGillem said by this lot not being developed or sold it was still part of the development. Mr. McNaught had agreed with an ingress/egress easement that was part of the Avatar plat, as I recall. Mr. McNaught had agreed that, as the developer, in selling the lot that they do the shared drive when this goes in and that there would be a passing blister when this next lot was developed. So, we kind of have ourselves reversed here. I guess where I am from the standpoint of traffic we have to see when the next lot is being sold. By this being a shared lot there is going to be a passing blister. It is either somehow identified in a way that it is done or we take care of it at that point. Or the passing blister needs to come in at this time. It is one or the other.
Mr. Haase asked, but is that lot still owned by Avatar or somebody else besides developer McNaught.
Mr. McGillem said it is owned by Avatar.
Mr. Haase said and that is what creates the complication so I understand the difference now. I think we can depend upon Staff to make sure that the passing blister gets put in if that lot develops to the north. Is there anyone in the audience who would care to speak on this matter? Being no one coming forward does the petitioner have anything to add or close with at this time?
Mr. Quintana said I do not unless the owners would like to say anything and they do not.
Mr. Haase said we will close the public portion of this hearing and the Chair would accept a motion to act upon this public hearing.
Mr. McPhail made a motion that the Plan Commission approve the request for Final Detailed Plan Secondary Approval, DP-04-016 finding that:
The Final Detailed plan satisfies the Development Standards specified for the PUD as included in this submittal.
The Final Detailed Plan accomplishes the intent set forth in Article 6 of the Plainfield Zoning Ordinance.
The Final Detailed Plan provides for the protection or provisions of site features and amenities outlined in Article 6.,C.,4.,a. of the Plainfield Zoning Ordinance.
And that such approval be subject to the following conditions:
Substantial compliance with the site, landscape, building elevation and photometric plans and related details file dated July 2, 2004.
The two-foot side dumpster door revision be removed and the door, as initiated by the petitioner shall be supplied to Staff.
Landscape plan to be reviewed by Staff.
The revision shown at DRC indicating an interior path connecting to Saratoga Parkway shall be supplied to Staff.
Freestanding signs are not included in this request.
The proposed development would meet the development standards of the PUD.
Mr. Haase said at this time we have PUD-04-002, MetroAir Business Park request for rezoning.
Mr. Higbee said this is a PUD rezoning for what I will refer to as a flex space type development. It is similar to one that you did recently called Sierra Gateway Park located near Stafford Road and Columbia Road. This one is near the new Ronald Reagan Parkway and Stafford Road also. This would be on the north side of Stafford Road and was a little bit over 56 acres. You may recall that when we came in with a similar PUD, Sierra Gateway Park, that there was a lot of discussion about the PUD Ordinance that survived into the Plan Commission hearing and we had to discuss a lot of individual items there. We attempted in this case to not repeat that and we went through a couple of revisions with the PUD Ordinance before we got here tonight. As a mater of fact, we have one more to hand out to you. That revision came in today. I had gone through a couple of iterations with the petitioner and they did a pretty good job from the start of responding to our ordinance requirements and what Staff was suggesting should be in the document. But there were a lot of detail items that needed to be discussed and clarified. So, this revision that I just handed out was the latest one received earlier today and then at five o’clock today I discussed on the phone with the petitioner’s representative a further need to still clean up and clarify things in that revision. So, that is probably not final but I will tell you what items that Staff is concerned about.
I attached to your Staff Report a set of comments that was based on going through the original revision and then the second revision. This is an additional revision that has come in. The proposed land uses are a combination of I-1, Industrial; I-2, Industrial, I-3, Industrial and General Commercial. You will see as you go to that new ordinance, that I just handed out, that you had a previous version of it in your packets so it is generally the same ordinance. They just made some changes to it but one of the first sections in there is the land use section. It says what uses would be permitted. It does deviate from the industrial warehousing recommendation of the Comprehensive Plan because it would allow manufacturing and also commercial development. Where the traditional land use out in that area has been the industrial warehouse and that is what the Comprehensive Plan recommends. It is a mixed type of development.
When going through those with the petitioner, I let them know that on the similar PUD, Sierra Gateway Parkway, that for the I-3 uses the Plan Commission chose to suggest looking at several of those I-3 uses from the PUD. I suggested that since this PUD was similar they may want to do the same thing here. I gave them that list to the best of my knowledge that included communication relay tower, bottle gas storage and distribution, alcohol beverage manufacturing, brewing and distillation of liquor, manufacturer of pre-fabricated wood building products and petroleum tank farm and a truck terminal. The petitioner did make some of those updates in the revision that you have in your hands now but I noticed in my review this afternoon two of them were still not in there, the communication relay tower and the truck terminal. It is my understanding from that discussion that they are willing to put those in there if you so desire, and they can verify that when they come up.
There is a traffic study that was done. Mr. McGillem is here to comment on that. The accesses would be off of Ronald Reagan Parkway and Stafford Road and I think Mr. McGillem concurred what was suggested in the traffic study but he may want to share some more comments with you regarding that.
Water and sewer is not in existence in this location yet so extensions would need to be provided. Water would be along Stafford Road and sewer would come from the south from the Town Engineer.
In your packets there should have been an elevation for an industrial building and an elevation for a commercial building. I don’t think they made it into the packets. They were supposed to be in an 8½ x 11 document that you had and I think the petitioner may have neglected to put them in there when they made their final copies. There is a color site plan and at one time there was an industrial building elevation in there but I think when copies were made and distribution made to you, they got left out. I think they have it with them tonight. The industrial building elevation was similar to the one that Sierra Gateway Park showed you. I requested, in addition, a commercial elevation because since they were requesting General Commercial uses in this PUD unlike the other PUD nearby I discussed with them that commercial buildings on Gateway Corridors in Plainfield meet a different architectural and building material standard than an industrial building. So, that the industrial elevation can no longer probably be acceptable or applicable. I believe that they had developed one and have it here to show you tonight but again it wasn’t put in your packet.
Some other items from the packet were just language corrections I discussed with the petitioner. I guess for the benefit of the record I should probably read them off. There aren’t very many so I will be quick about it. This is from the document that I handed out a few minutes ago that came in earlier today, July 8. If you go to what they have as page three of that document under sub item 4A.3, there was simply a word there at the end of that clause that said “note” with nothing following it. I think the petitioner intended to insert some language there that he will explain to you when he comes up. So, that is a correction that needs to be made to the PUD Ordinance. Going down the same page on item number 11.B the word “commercial” is in parentheses at the end of that clause, which doesn’t seem to have any meaning. So, I think their intention is to delete that word. In addition, the uses that they excluded were missing those two land uses mentioned earlier, the communication relay tower and the truck terminal. So, I believe it is their intention to add that in based on our discussion.
Moving forward to page five of that document, and this would be item B.1.F, landscaping I suggested to the petitioner that they were not clear on what they were going to do for building foundation landscaping. They had referred to perimeter landscaping and not referred to either interior parking lot landscaping or building foundation landscaping. That is a particular concern because the petitioner is requesting a deviation from the required setback from Ronald Reagan Parkway, which I will discuss with you in a little bit. And they are also having no interior yards between their buildings just like Sierra Gateway Parkway. Well if this were under normal zoning and not under a Planned Unit Development, that would require two development incentives for that to happen, which would then require an elevation of the foundation planting requirements. There is no mention of what foundation level even the minimum level here. I believe they are willing to and intend to insert some language about the level of foundation plantings that they would be willing to provide.
Going onto the next item, which would be B.G on the bottom of that page and then going onto the next page there was a sentence that I believe they had the word “and” where it says “and shall be connected to “and” interior walkway, path or sidewalks.” I think that is supposed to be “an” and not “and.”
The next item, which is item “H” refers to docks. I didn’t think that necessarily needed to be changed but I thought it was an item worth discussing with the Plan Commission. We discussed with the petitioner the fact that their preliminary plan, that color site plan that you have in your packet, shows buildings with docks facing inside only. And at one time the PUD Ordinance didn’t have any language that guaranteed us that is indeed what they would actually do when they develop it. So, we asked them to put language in there indicating that docks would only be facing the interior of the site and would not be visible from, particularly Ronald Reagan Parkway. This is their response to that. If you have any concerns about the visibility of the docks or the screening of the docks or what you can see from those Gateway Corridors, this provision is one of the things in the ordinance that controls that.
Going on down to the bottom of page six, the same page, item number seven, development incentives, it talks about they would like to be eligible to utilize development incentives for commercial or industrial development pertaining to setbacks as set forth in Article 5.4. That is the development incentives provisions. I pointed out to them that, number one, if they want to put this in there to allow a reduced setback along Ronald Reagan Parkway, for instance, they should refer back to Article B.1 on page four, which says that they would have a minimum 120 feet from the pavement of Ronald Reagan Parkway to the pavement on their site. Because if they don’t, this clause would conflict with that but if they refer back to that clause, then it wouldn’t conflict with B.1.
Mr. Haase said I appreciate you going through this but it doesn’t sound like we have anything that they know what they are doing on this location that they are willing to give to TAC and to give to you prior to coming before the Plan Commission.
Mr. Higbee said this is the last item. If you allow it, I will just finish it and we will be done. I know you are probably getting frustrated but we want to have this in the record to make sure that it is done correctly. I think it is going to take a lot less time than it did on the previous PUD that you had to look at. So, there was that need to refer back so they didn’t have a conflict. There was also, if they are going to talk about using a development incentive provision, they need to mention the one on the interior yards since they don’t have any side yards on the interior between those buildings. So, again it is my understanding that they are going to make virtually all of those changes and they should be able to verify that when they come up.
I will move on rapidly through the rest of the report so that my comments will be finished.
Mr. Haase said I don’t understand why we are bringing this because they gave this to you today and the cutoff was what day?
Mr. Higbee said the filing date is the cut off time technically.
Mr. Haase said you need more time to review this and we need more of a chance to review this. We don’t need to be reviewing it and rewriting it here. TAC needs a chance to review this.
Mr. Higbee said I considered those minor technical points. TAC did review the first revision.
Mr. Haase said they show all of these industrial buildings here. Is this property theirs?
Mr. Higbee said yes, the corner lot.
Mr. Haase said and they are asking for General Commercial but they don’t show any kind of representation of General Commercial on here. I think we are very concerned about the loading docks being viewed from the north/south corridor.
Mr. Kirchoff said and Stafford.
Mr. Haase said and Stafford. I think this corner is much more of a concern to me from the Town’s standpoint than the one Sierra did down at I-70. Its visibility and locality both for the Town is a much greater importance. I don’t think we have enough, as far as I’m concerned, down here. I think they need to go back to the drawing board. I’m not even sure I would vote for the PUD to go in here with what I have tonight. I’m not a PUD fan anyway and at this moment I’m up for a continuance until they get something more concrete and we don’t swing at a moving target here.
Mr. Higbee said they do have quite a bit more than the other PUD had when they came in the door because of the extra effort we put into going through the revisions. We went through a couple of different revisions of the PUD document. I think it is really wordsmithing and minor corrections that I have been making but I certainly understand your desire to spend some more time on it.
Mr. Haase asked, is there anyone who would want to make a motion for a continuance tonight on this? If not, we will move on.
Mr. Kirchoff made a motion to continue PUD-04-002. Second by Mr. Thibo. Motion carried.
Mr. Haase said a motion for a continuance to the August meeting is granted. I wish the petitioner would get serious with what he is planning here so that we will know what we are looking at instead of building it here at the meeting. Thank you very much.
We will then move onto RZ-04-004, Bob Craig Classic Homes.
Mr. Higbee said this is a rezoning from the AG district to R-3 for 11.24 acres that was recently annexed into the Town. It is located just off of CR300S and the area is recommended for medium-density residential development by the Comprehensive Plan and this density with only 28 lots being proposed on 11.24 acres fell beneath the density recommendations of the plan into more of a low-density type of range.
One of the major issues on this is that this is the first rezoning that has come through for residential since we passed the residential design guidelines in 2003. Any residential development is subject to those guidelines, which were passed as an element of the Comprehensive Plan. What I did to address that is I actually produced a document that I refer to as RDG analysis document I think in my Staff Report, RDG meaning residential design guidelines, trying to save some words there in my report. I just broke it down by sections. That is the way the residential design guidelines are written. Section one is the general intent of the guidelines. Section two is the architectural section. Section three is the multi families so that does not apply to this request. Section four is open space and section five has to do with the overall layout of the subdivision. And then there are a couple of other sections that I will mention when I get to them. The way that I wanted to present this to you is what do the residential design guidelines require since we already established that it is in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan. That is the other major thing that we always want to look at. What do those residential design guidelines require verses what is proposed? The first section, section one, if you refer back to that document in the back of your Staff Report, it gives the general intent. This language is taken out of the actual guideline document and talks about providing a variety of housing types to meet market demands but also using sound design principals to avoid monotony, to have a better layout and design, to have variations and architectural treatment and layout, etc. I won’t read that whole thing to you but that is basically what it is saying. The proposal is for brick structures with high-pitched roofs and other features that are meeting a fairly high standard. As you probably recall, when we developed these guidelines, we said that if you use brick and you use certain other features and provide a minimum house size of at least 1,700 square feet and a minimum garage size and you meet all of those standards, you can be exempted from the additional architectural standards of the guidelines. This request, using the two typical elevations that I was given that I think are in your packet, did meet that. So, they can be exempted from the actual architectural guidelines of the residential design guidelines. One question I had on that though because of the general intent to avoid monotony in a subdivision is whether or not you might want to consider any kind of control such as variable built two lines or variable elevations. In some subdivisions we have actually said no two identical elevations can be located right next to each other. That basically takes care of section one.
Section two I mention they are exempt from guideline two because they met the basic standard. I discovered a problem that wasn’t apparent in the beginning. If you look at your layout here that you all got in your packet, there are no lot sizes marked on this layout. But I happened to take a scale pretty late in the game to see what I thought the lot sizes might be. It appeared to me that the R-3 that they are asking for, which is a minimum 10,000 square foot and 70 foot wide lot, would not be met in all cases or probably even in most cases of these lots. So, if that is true, which this is just a preliminary plan, I don’t know if it really is, but if that is true, then it would require a development incentive, which could substantially alter the layout that we have in front of us. Development incentives also kick in the requirement for open space within the development and they have not offered any open space within the development.
Mr. Haase said but what we are doing here tonight is just getting a recommendation to the Town Council to rezone, am I correct?
Mr. Higbee said yes.
Mr. Haase said so if he is wanting it rezoned to an R-3, then the next time that he comes in with all of this other information is when we would actually be able to enforce what the guidelines request.
Mr. Higbee said I’m not sure I agree with that. He has to conform with platting requirements, if he rezones to I-3. If he doesn’t, then yes he will still have to conform with development incentives requirements, which require open space.
Mr. Haase said he can do an R-3 request for rezoning.
Mr. Higbee said yes he can but I’m just informing you that unless he changes the lot sizes, it’s not going to look like this.
Mr. Haase said this is a conceptual plan that we have before us but he would have to meet the R-3 guidelines.
Mr. Higbee said that is true.
Mr. Haase said and that would be determined at the platting process.
Mr. Higbee said yes. He would have to come back for development incentives if he did not want to conform to the 10,000 minimum and the minimum lot width. That is a true statement but having said that Article 4 coming up in your next section in your residential design guidelines also requires open space within the subdivision. So, their proposal would not provide for any open space, however, they are proposing a path connection to the railroad right-of-way to the south and they have said that they would consider tree preservation along the railroad right-of-way. Which I understand there is a tree line in existence. Other developments that we have done that have been along the railroad yard where that tree line existed have done something similar whether they have created an easement for preservation of the tree line. That is not actually in with what they sent us but they have indicated willingness to consider that as a condition.
The next section, five, is a vehicular design and pedestrian connectivity and talks about how the streets are laid out. Whether or not you have cul-de-sacs, whether or not you have sidewalks and pathways that can get out of the development and that kind of thing. I already mentioned that they are offering a connection to the railroad path to the south. I also would have to mention that there are two cul-de-sacs here. This could change a lot if they intend to use the lot sizes that there seem to be here but right now it has two cul-de-sacs. The residential design guidelines suggest minimization of cul-de-sacs. I think the main intent of that is to provide connectivity where cul-de-sacs don’t. They just terminate and they don’t provide connectivity outside of a subdivision. I’m not sure what the properties to the east and west of that where you have creeks on both sides, what the development potential is going to be to the east and west. I don’t know if those will end up being developed…………
[Tape one concluded at this point and resumed as follows with Mr. Higbee speaking.]
…………what the development potential is going to be to the east and to the west. I don’t know if those will end up being developed or will always remain undeveloped because of floodway concerns. But if there were adjacent residential development there, this subdivision would not connect to it. Mr. McGillem also pointed out that there is a development to the north in the County known as the Settlement. And that consideration should be given to how this entrance should align with that.
The next section of the residential design guidelines refers to the Comprehensive Plan and whether or not utilities exist. The Town Engineer has indicated that they don’t exist there yet but there are some plans to provide utilities in the area.
And then lastly section seven talks about building materials and craftsmanship. They are proposing brick, which is a preferred material in the residential design guidelines. They also mention dimensional style shingles. I’m not sure if dimensional shingles and dimensional style shingles are the same or not but the residential design guidelines do encourage dimensional shingles. So, that completes my residential guidelines and analysis. If you have any question on that, I will answer them. I will just remind you that the intent, as I understood it, when we created them, was that they would be incorporated as a zoning commitment as the rezoning came through. Out of those sections that I just went through if you have concerns about any of them and want to require that, your motion should probably call out whichever sections you want to apply or possibly blanket the whole thing. It is up to the Plan Commission if an exception would be made.
I would also point you to the Design Review Committee’s comments on this. They mention that it would be good to provide a condition for preservation of the wooded area that I mentioned along the railroad right a way. They had mentioned a willingness to consider street trees, which I neglected when I went through my residential design guidelines a minute ago. That is also in the residential design guidelines as a street tree requirement. DRC suggested that ought to be required and I think the petitioner was indicating some flexibility on that. If so, an easement should be created and then the architectural roof shingles should be fire rated class “A” or “B” and that was also taken out of the residential design guidelines. That’s all that I have.
Mr. Haase asked, does it follow the Comprehensive Plan?
Mr. Higbee said yes for density. It’s beneath the medium density that is recommended.
Mr. Bill Ottinger from Benchmark Consulting said my office is located at 20 E. Airport Road in the town of Brownsburg. Just to make a few points here, nothing elaborate by any means, but just to give you an idea what our target is for this type of development is we are actually looking to create a maintenance free community. Something for the active adult and something for the empty nester. That is really the driving force behind what you may have heard in regards to the open space requirement that is part of your residential design guidelines. In some of our preliminary consultation with interest in the community as people who would be seeking this development or this type of community the biggest amenity draw we have to offer is the proximity to the railroad trial or in other words the greenway that leads to all of the park systems here in the Town of Plainfield. Everyone that we have talked to previously are very excited about that location being within relation to that typical trail system.
The other thing that we really want to look at is the size of this subdivision. We are talking about 28 residential lots. Also in the market that we are trying to hit the open space that would typically be set aside for shall we say playgrounds or ball courts or other active recreational uses. We don’t feel there is an actual need for that type of a use within this type of community. So, what we are really trying to create is an empty nest, maintenance free, active adult community. It might be that we have people gone during the winter months. We know that we are going to have people active in the community due to the fact that we are adjacent to the railroad trail that is going to lead to your greenways and your parks. We are very excited about that and that is probably the biggest amenity or actually the largest marketing tool that we have with this location.
As far as the lot sizes, we are very much aware that each lot size does meet the R-3 requirement as we come back with our primary plat. What you have before you currently is just a concept plan and I thought I had done a fairly decent job in making certain that all of the lots are going to conform to the R-3 development but there is a possibility that I might be slight on a lot somewhere. However, we realize that when we come back with our primary plat, that it must meet all of the requirements of your R-3 zoning standards.
There was also a statement made in regards to our proximity to the Settlement development. And unfortunately I didn’t have a great deal to work with but I did the best I could and tried to give you some sort of relationship as to where this property lies in relation to the Settlement development that you see to the north. What is crosshatched in the red indicates the location of the property that we are speaking of tonight and the rest of the map illustrates other residential communities in the area. To be a little more precise the centerline of the access into the Settlement development is approximately 990 feet east of the Dan Jones Road intersection. While the entryway we have coming into the Cimarron in this particular development is 1,450 feet from the Dan Jones Road. Actually we are about a 460-foot separation between the two access points on Township Line Road.
I have with me here this evening Mr. Bob Craig from Classic Homes. I don’t know if you are familiar with his product but he is one of the finest builders we have within the Central Indiana area. If you have concerns or questions in regards to the architectural development of the units themselves, he will be glad to answer those. As I’m here as his civil engineer, I will be glad to try to accommodate any questions you may have in regards to this site development.
Mr. McPhail said it seems to me that the Settlement does not have approval for that location of the road cut. As far as I know, they have never come to the Town to get approval for that road cut, is that correct?
Mr. Carlucci said they have not.
Mr. Haase asked, would there be anyone in the audience who has any questions or comments that they would like to make on this recommendation that the Plan Commission will make for the rezoning of this property to the Town Council? Being no one coming forward is there anything that the petitioner would like to add?
Mr. Ottinger said on behalf of Bob I’m really excited about this product and I’m glad to be part of this development team. I think this is really a need that the Town of Plainfield has. It is something that I’m excited about. I think it is something that all of the community will be proud of once it is completed. I can show you some examples of what we are looking at as far as the structures themselves. I think you will all agree that they appear to be a very quality and very nice product and very colorful. I don’t know I can’t say enough about it but it is something that we are proud of and hopefully the Town of Plainfield will also. We will do everything we possibly can to achieve that status.
Mr. Haase said we will then close the public portion of this hearing. This is the first rezoning request since the residential design guidelines have been put into effect. We have a motion that we will make for a recommendation to the Town Council. The Town Council actually does the rezoning. So, we need a recommendation either favorable or unfavorable or no recommendation. Then we have also the single-family residential design guidelines that Mr. Higbee went through, sections 1; 2; 4; 5; 6 and 7. The items there show the intent or the guidelines and then below that is the proposal, which is what this development proposes to abide by and build their houses to. To tie that into the rezoning request the recommendation would then include, and I think to keep it brief since we have reviewed those, the person taking the minutes and typing them up can get these proposals off of Mr. Higbee. It should just include a statement saying, “and the proposals as written for sections 1; 2; 4; 5; 6 and 7.” So, we don’t have to read those in their entirety but they will be reflected in the minutes.
Mr. Kirchoff asked, do we really need to be that specific on recommending a rezoning?
Mr. Haase said it is kind of my understanding that upon the time that we do the rezoning is when we need to tie the residential guidelines into it and not for the platting. That this is the only time that we can tie this to this, if you will, to hold their feet to the fire. Is that correct Mr. Daniel?
Mr. Daniel said that is correct.
Mr. Haase said I think our confusion is that this is our first one that we have had and it is a new way that we are doing things so we need to get used to it ourselves. So, do we have a recommendation?
Mr. McPhail made a motion to certify the zone map amendment request of RZ-04-004, rezoning approximately 11.24 acres from AG to R-3 with a favorable recommendation subject to the following:
Commitments to be provided and recorded on Exhibit “A” Statement of Commitments forms. Proposals as written for sections 1; 2; 4; 5; 6 and 7 of the residential design guidelines as follows:
Guideline: “…to provide a housing mix to meet market demands, and to provide a full range of price points while utilizing sound design principles…”. Issues: 1) effect that front, side, and rear facades, and subdivision common area location and design have upon primary views and upon the overall perception of the local residential market. 2) avoiding monotony. 3) subdivision layout/design – the combination of small lots and few variations in architectural treatments create a negative impact on the streetscape and neighborhood as can the orientation of rear facades to perimeter streets or common areas.
Proposal: Brick structures with high pitch roofs and other features that exempt them from the architectural standards as provided for below meet much of the intent of this section. However, further discussion of design to clarify the desire to avoid monotony could be useful. There could be some concern about side views of the homes on the two lots abutting CR300S.
Section 2 Architectural guidelines
Guideline: 2A Basic Standards provides for 1-story min. 1,700 sf home of 85% brick or stone veneer, 2-story min. 1,800 sf home (with 1,200 sf downstairs) of 100% brick or stone veneer on first level; min. 484 sf garage; min. 6/12 roof pitch; minimum vinyl or aluminum siding thickness as specified in the RDG. Consistency of garage building materials with primary building.
Guideline: 2B Detailed Architectural Standards (apply if 2A above is not offered):
Front elevations: Utilize Table 2A
Perimeter Streetscape – Choose frontage street with front facades facing, if side or rear treatments facing perimeter, utilize Table 2B, or utilize greenbelt.
Interior streetscape – Choose variable build-to line, or assurance that adjacent units will avoid monotony as to building and streetscape.
All other side and rear elevations – Utilize Table 2B
Garage design shall include garage offset, limitation of garage doors to 40% of building linear length, or side or rear load garage. One-car min. 275 sf and 11 feet wide, 2-car min. 484 sf and 19 feet wide. No driveway to exceed 20 feet at the sidewalk. Break up architectural plane if more than 2-car garage.
Proposal: The request appears to meet the requirements for the basic Standard (Section 2A), exempting the development from Section 2B. Minimum garage sizes were given to staff verbally for two typical model elevations submitted to DRC, as 618 sf and 628 sf.
Minimum lot sizes for R-3 are 10,000 sf and 70 feet in width. Based on sealing the preliminary plan, it appears that some lots would be undersized, requiring either variances or utilization of Development Incentives. However, if the later is used, open offsetting, open space or buffers would be required. None are indicated. Because lot sizes and dimensions were not marked on the preliminary plan, this item was not discovered until after the DRC meeting. However, the requirements for development incentives were shared with the project engineer before the project was filed.
It appears that a floodway crosses three lots on the east – would these lots be buildable?
Section 4 Open Space
Guideline: 1/35 of an acre per lot or unit should be provided but open space should be counted at only 1/20 of an acre for any portion in a utility easement, high slope area, and flood plain area. See RDG for further information.
Proposal: No open space is set aside, so the intent is not met. Zero point eight acre would be the minimum expectation for a 28-lot subdivision. However, the developer indicated some willingness to consider a path connection to the railroad corridor path to the south and tree preservation along the corridor on the lots that abut. Easements for these items would be needed.
Section 5 Vehicular design and pedestrian connectivity
Guideline: Provide vista terminations @ < 1350’, provide for street trees, maximize internal and external street connectivity, provide interior sidewalks or paths, link to Town greenways.
Proposal: Nothing was specified for this item in the proposal. However, at DRC, the developer indicated a willingness to consider street trees on private property along the sidewalks. The main entry street to the end of the west cul-de-sac is less than 700 feet long.
Two cul-de-sacs are included, with about ½ of the proposed lots on the cul-de-sacs. Cul-de-sacs are suggested to be minimized by the RDG. The reasons for this likely would include that they require more paved area and that they can prevent vehicular and pedestrian connectivity. Future developments that may abut to the east and west would not be connected to. However, with creeks existing on both sides, it is not clear that the land adjacent is easily developable. The entry drive should align with a County project to the north, called the settlement.
Section 6 Comprehensive Plan
Guideline: consider recommendation for land use of the Plan, capacity of utilities, capacity of roads, compatibility with adjacent land uses, zoning, other proposed projects, infill consideration if applicable.
Proposal: utilities do not exist here yet, but would need for platting and development to occur. An attached aerial shows the abutting land uses, which are largely undeveloped/agricultural to the north and west, single-family to the east, and undeveloped to the south. The Comprehensive Plan calls for medium-density residential development for the subject parcel and those east and west, low density to the north and commercial south of the railroad trail. The density proposed is beneath that recommended by the Plan.
A new Comprehensive Plan update under consideration, but not as yet adopted, may recommend a new park south of the railroad trail east of the nearby creek.
Section 7 Building Materials and Craftsmanship
Guideline: Encourage textured or dimensional roof shingles, roofing with Class A or B fire rating, brick, fieldstone, limestone, concrete composite, wood clapboard siding, EFIS and other materials from the RDG. If vinyl or aluminum siding is used, encourage minimum thickness specified in the RDG.
Proposal: Brick is the main material and is a preferred material. The roof shingles would be fiberglass and referred to on the filing as “dimensional style”. Dimensional shingles are encouraged in the RDG.
Mr. Higbee said may I suggest before you vote would you like to consider the recommendations of the Design Review Committee as part of your motion? There were three items there.
Mr. McPhail said and number two:
The wooded area along the railroad right-of-way should be considered for tree preservation.
One street tree per lot shall be provided to meet the RDG street tree requirement and species selection shall be reviewed by the Town Landscape Consultant.
Architectural roof shingles shall be fire rated Class “A” or “B”.
Mr. Haase said the final public hearing for tonight is RZ-04-005, Bill Cherry.
Mr. Higbee said you have three different lots that are part of this petition. Toward the end of your Staff Report I broke those out so that if you want to consider them separately when you make motions, you can. One lot is at the northeast corner of Stafford Road and Elm Street and that lot is zoned R-3 and the request is to zone it to NR, Neighborhood Retail, which is a Commercial District. However, you have in your packet a document that is a narrowed list of neighborhood retail uses. If you go to our Zoning Ordinance, there is quite an extensive list of what would normally be permitted in that Commercial District. What the petitioner has chosen to do is take that list and strike out many of the uses that could have been permitted otherwise and asked only for that list that you have in your packet. I, in general, described those in my Staff Report to you that would allow for office uses and some retail uses as well as a drive-in/drive-thru as a Special Exception use. The drive-in/drive-thru Special Exception use would require further approval to go in because Special Exceptions have to go to the Board of Zoning Appeals. That is for the lot at the northeast corner. That lot has an existing office building on it today or actually more than one office building. It is my understanding that for a number of years a variance has been in effect to allow that office use to exist there and that there is a variance condition that was placed upon that requiring the tenant to come back to the BZA every time he gets a new tenant for that space. For instance, if he has an insurance agent in there and that guy leaves and he wants to put a realtor in there, it has to go back to the BZA and say can I have this realtor as a tenant? I have seen that happen a couple of times since I have been here in the past five years where he has come in and asked the BZA for permission to place a new tenant and it is my guess that avoiding having to go through that process was part of the reason that motivated this request for the rezoning. That is the lot at the northeast and I described more in the Staff Report what is around that lot. You know that to the east you have the Marsh Center/commercial uses and to the west, north and south you have primarily residential uses. There is an optometrist office on the south side of Stafford Road. That lot, the optometrist office, is zoned R-2. It must also be there by variance although I was unable to find any variance history on it in the Town’s records unless it perhaps predates being in the Town. I really don’t know but it is zoned R-2 and it has an optometrist office on it and that is one of the lots that is also being requested to be rezoned to Neighborhood Retail with again the limited set of uses that you have in your packet.
And then the lot to the west of the optometrist office has a house on it. I believe it is a stone ranch house. That is also being requested to be rezoned from R-2 to Neighborhood Retail with the same list of uses. One of the issues that the petitioner brought to my attention is there is a floodway that exists in that area. I believe it effects all of the lots. Even the one on the north side of the road. It probably effects the western most lot on the south side of the road where the house is the most. There is some documentation that they may want to present to you from the Department of Natural Resources about the floodway and the ability to build back or expand the residential structure there verses the ability to build a commercial structure. What the petitioner’s attorney told me was that it is easier and DNR will allow you to build a commercial structure on that lot where they may not with the house. I’m not sure I understand all of those relations so I will leave that with them to explain that issue to you.
This request was not reviewed by anybody else. The Design Review Committee did not look at it. It is really more of a straight rezoning type of request. The request does not agree with the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan because the comp plan agrees that the predominate use of the area is residential and they are asking for commercial.
I made a number of other points. I don’t want to read them all off to you here but I was just describing in my Staff Comments section of the report what the existing conditions are on the lots. You are probably already familiar with them so I don’t want to read that to you. But I did want to mention to you that Stafford Road west of SR267 is not defined as a Gateway Corridor in our Zoning Ordinance. It is only a Gateway Corridor east of SR267. That is important because if you grant commercial zoning here, there is no provision for us to require the Gateway Corridor standards to be met if a commercial structure is built there. So, if you intend to consider putting commercial zoning on any of these lots and you want that same control that we have elsewhere on the corridor, you would need to do that as a zoning commitment in your motion. You may also want to consider, if you want to do that, having the DRC being required to review any development that would occur on the site. Otherwise, it might not be required either.
I mentioned that if a Neighborhood Retail development did occur on any of these lots, should we take into account the design principals for Neighborhood Retail? It probably ought to be different than it would be for other types of retail and be scaled more to the neighborhood. That is item number six in my Comments, Questions and Concerns. It talks about looking at being more sensitive with buffering, more sensitive with where you locate parking areas, architectural features on the building, etc., if such a building was to ever be built there. That is all that I have and I would answer any questions that you would have.
While the petitioner is coming forward I’m going to pass out some remonstrance letters that I got. I think you already have them but just in case you don’t I’m going to pass out a copy of them.
Mr. Haase said I’m going to ask the petitioner if he took the Oath of Testimony earlier this evening?
Mr. Lee Comer said I did not.
Mr. Daniel administered the Oath of Testimony to Mr. Comer.
Mr. Lee Comer said, as Mr. Higbee was saying, you have two petitions before you this evening. You have one for Bill Cherry’s office, which is on the north side of Stafford Road, a tract of ground, and then you have a petition, which is for two properties on the south side of Stafford Road. One of which already has the commercial building of the eye doctors, Schaffer and Groninger. And then you have a property which is immediately to the west of that, which is owned by somebody by the name of a gentleman named David Opalak. So, it is those two properties. The Opalak property presently is used for residential purposes. There is a house located on that particular site. Those two applications give us some alternatives this evening. I was speaking with Mr. Tony Harbin who lives just to the west of the Opalak property, which is the one under this proposal the house would be coming down, and a commercial building of some nature would be going up. Mr. Harbin told me that he has spoken with somebody in my office back in was it February?
Mr. Harbin said yes.
Mr. Comer said back in February and I did not know that. So, I think I have a conflict. I don’t know exactly what they talked about but it was in regard to your property and the Opalak property I am assuming.
Mr. Harbin said absolutely.
Mr. Comer said as to how you might remonstrate or oppose the acquisition. So, that gives me a little bit of a problem standing up here this evening in regard to that application. Let me ask the Harbin’s if they have a problem with the Bill Cherry application on the north side of Stafford Road?
Mr. Harbin said I’m opposed to that also.
Mr. Comer said not knowing that before this evening, and I hate to put these folks through it because they don’t want a continuance, they would like to have this heard, but I think Mr. Cherry has the right to be represented and I can’t do that tonight. Mr. Daniel you understand that better than anybody.
Mr. Haase said I think at this time I would like Mr. Daniel to speak from the Town’s prospective as to what Mr. Comer has been saying.
Mr. Daniel said this is a little bit different situation because it does appear a conflict has occurred. Where you have multiple lawyers in the same office it does happen occasionally when someone calls one of the other lawyers and talks to them about something and then if nothing is filed right away or nothing is done right away, then the other party comes in and talks to one of the other lawyers and they are not aware of the fact that somebody talked to another lawyer in the office. I think Mr. Comer has a conflict here representing these property owners because obviously somebody here in the audience had talked to someone in his office about remonstrating or what they could do to remonstrate against these petitions. And it is also true that Mr. Cherry, Mr. Schaffer, Mr. Groninger and Mr. Opalak should be entitled to representation on these matters. It is one of those unfortunate things that comes up.
Mr. Haase asked, if we continue with the process here tonight with the conflict involved, what would that lead us to?
Mr. Daniel said Mr. Comer could not present the petitioners on this matter and he would have to withdraw from representing the petitioners and the petitioners would be here with no counsels.
Mr. Haase said so legally he is not allowed to.
Mr. Daniel said that is correct by ethics.
Mr. Tony Harbin said my wife and I live at 1715 Stafford Road. I did have an appointment with Mr. Comer’s office. They spoke with us briefly but they told us that they couldn’t represent us in the matter. So, we did speak to them briefly. We did make a telephone conversation to Mr. Jack Lawson to speak to him about the effect on property values. But the Comer’s and the business chose not to represent us and told us that they couldn’t because they had already spoken to a neighbor on the matter. So, I was there. There is no denying that but there was no fees paid. They discussed it with us but I don’t consider that services rendered.
Mr. Comer said that was not what I was understanding earlier. What do you think Mr. Daniel?
Mr. Daniel said the fact that the Comer office did not engage you or fees were paid does not necessarily void a conflict. I don’t want to make an ethical decision here for Mr. Comer but to the extent that you have talked to his office about this matter that can create a problem whether or not you paid fees or not. Mr. Comer will have to make that call and not me.
Mr. Daniel administered the Oath of Testimony to Tina Harbin.
Ms. Tina Harbin said I live at 1715 Stafford Road. I’m a little bit at fault with Mr. Comer because we just shared that information with him after he asked us to go in the hallway to discuss this matter. So, I think all of us came prepared to be heard tonight. There was no information exchanged at his office. Tony and I went in February thinking that we would get legal advice because we are really opposed to the property being torn down and turned into commercial property. We had an appointment. We went in and we were told immediately that the person that we were to see was not available, which was Mr. Comer’s son. The gentleman proceeded to make a phone call only on our behalf to Mr. Lawson who verified that it would not be a good thing for our property value and that was the end of it. So, I don’t think there is any reason for a conflict of reason on his behalf. They didn’t do anything.
Mr. Comer asked, will you raise an issue later?
Mr. Harbin said I won’t raise an issue later but I think you are just using this as a convenience so it is delayed.
Mr. Comer said no.
Mr. Harbin said that is what I believe.
Mr. Haase said I’m not going to entertain anyone else in the audience. It is between the four of you.
Ms. Harbin said I’m just asking on behalf of the property owners. We have come prepared and I’m not used to being in front of a bunch of legal people but I can tell you what my property means to me. I love my home. I love being in Plainfield. We have raised two children.
Mr. Haase said we will get into that if we get to the hearing.
Mr. Harbin said I’m willing to sign something if we need to sign a release or waiver of any conflict.
Ms. Harbin said he should have known that we were in his office.
Mr. Harbin said again I have to believe this is just a selfish motive to draw a continuance is our real concern.
Mr. Daniel said setting the motives aside if you are willing to waive any conflict that might exist there with Mr. Comer representing the petitioners, we can confirm that to Mr. Comer if he is satisfied with that.
Mr. Comer said that is all that I need to know. I’m ready to hear this tonight. You made a couple of comments that weren’t very kind to attorneys in general. Let me have you understand that the only reason that I brought that up is because you gave me that information. Had you not told me that and we had not gone through this little exercise tonight to determine if you were going to waive that right, had we gone through this hearing, you can call the Ethical Commission of the Lawyers Association tomorrow and turn me in and I have a problem. It is me that I’m covering tonight, not Bill Cherry, not a continuance. It is an ethical problem, not a legal problem, it is an ethical problem. So, you are telling me tonight to put that burden on me to have that discussion for the purposes that we just had. So, you can stand up here and tell me that I’m a rotten so and so and I’m just using that but what I’m telling you is my livelihood is on the line and you could have evoked that tomorrow had we not learned that this evening. So, understand what I did then was not to continue this. We are ready to hear this thing.
Mr. Harbin said I didn’t call you any names and I didn’t mean to offend you. I’m just telling you what I believe.
Mr. Comer said well you did because I was not using that.
Mr. Haase said we will then continue with hearing RZ-04-005 and RZ-04-006 and the petitioner is being represented by Lee Comer and you may continue.
Mr. Comer said you have an interesting situation this evening in these two petitions. Mr. Higbee first tells us the request for commercial with these three tracts of ground do not meet the Comprehensive Plan. Nevertheless we have two commercial buildings already there and we have a third site that we are going to talk about in a minute being the Opalak property, which is not conducive to residential. When we look at this from an objective standpoint, if we are hovering over the Town of Plainfield and we are looking down at this, you are going to be a little hard pressed to think that the two properties with commercial buildings are on there are anything close to residential use, the comp plan or not, they are already commercial. It is not going back to residential and the trend wouldn’t put them back to residential. So, we are dealing with a third property, which is residential at this point and time and what do we do with that? You have two applications. You have Bill Cherry’s application and Mr. Higbee tells us every time he changes a tenant he has to come to the Town and get permission because that was part of the variance request that he had way back when. That building has been there a number of years at this stage of the game. It is not going to change to residential. Bill Cherry contends with you that what you see is what you get out there. It is two nice brick buildings and it is going to be commercial. That application he believes stands on its own and would ask for your favorable recommendation for that. People are opposed to that. I’m not exactly sure why but nevertheless they will have reasons for that and we will address those.
The properties on the south side of Stafford Road raise some similar issues for the Shaffer/Groninger property and new issues for the Opalak property. Again we have a nice commercial building on the south side of Stafford Road. It is zoned residential. The comp plan says residential. Is it ever going to be residential? No. It has been residential in the past but it is not going back not with that nice building there.
So, that then brings us to the Opalak property. It is residential. Does it have its problems and limitations of residential use? Yes it does. I don’t know if you have the letter from Banning Engineering, the project engineer on it. Do you have that?
Mr. Haase said yes.
Mr. Comer said let me hit the high points on this. Eighty percent of that Opalak property is in the floodway. Now it is not on the fringe. It is not in the plain. It is in the floodway. It can’t be built on for any new residential purposes. What does that do to the existing building? Well it had better stay there just as it is and not have any problems because if it has some damage to certain percentages, then it has to be moved because it is in the floodway. Eighty percent of that real estate is not conducive under the State of Indiana and federal guidelines for residential use. It is there. The house is there because it was built before those regulations went into effect. That house was grandfathered. I think Mr. Higbee may have raised an issue in his report, what happened in the September 2003 big rain that we had. The water almost got to the house. When it receded, there was all kinds of sand piles left out in the yard. So, when we are talking about a floodway, we are talking about water. Sometimes you have a floodway and there is a mound and there is no water that gets over that because the maps are a little goofy. This is a floodway that actually stands for itself as such. It has water that gets up almost to the house. That is a good point that Mr. Higbee raised and I think it gives the petitioners an opportunity this evening to say we live there and we know that we have our problems. If somebody buys that home and goes and gets a mortgage, are they going to have to buy flood insurance? Yes they are. Even if it is grandfathered? Yes they have to. It would cost them at least, we are guessing, about six hundred dollars a year, every year because that house is in a floodway and they are going to get insurance probably from Bill Cherry in order to have the coverage that will then get the loan. Because the loan won’t be made without the flood insurance so this is what we are perpetuating by it being residential.
Another two or three factors involved with this is Stafford Road, at least in this area of Town, has probably lost its cozy residential feeling. We have widened Stafford Road. It is now a very wide three lanes out there. We have our Walnut Hill Shopping Center. You have the other commercial uses. We are talking about two commercial buildings this evening on residentially zoned property. All of this gives a different flavor to the area. Even though there are homes and nice homes in the Walnut Hills addition the times have changed. When the Walnut Hills Subdivision went in about 20 years ago, that was a small two lane road that went through there. I did some work with the developers back then and it wasn’t anything like we have today. Now one of the good planning things was done back when Walnut Hills went through was that the row of houses of Walnut Hills that is along Stafford Road don’t face Stafford Road. That is a little bit of good news and bad news because they face the interior of the subdivision. What that means is that the Opalak property is looking into the back yards and the backs of the houses of Walnut Hills. They are nice homes but nobody is looking into Opalak. He is the one looking into those and you have to go across his front yard, the house is fairly deep, you have to go across a pretty sizeable right-of-way and then you have to go through the back yard before you ever get to the homes that are on the other side. So, when we think in these terms of these properties, we are thinking maybe commercial isn’t so bad. Maybe this fits when we have a commercial building on the Cherry property on the north side and we have a commercial building on the south side on the Shaffer and Groninger parcel. Maybe we can talk in terms since 80% of the Opalak property is in the floodway, maybe that is not outside the realm of possibility. So, the issue becomes not so much “can it” because it can. That is starting to sound pretty good. The issue then begins what do we use it for? Are we going to use it for something, as somebody said to me, 24 hours a day seven days a week? Well that is not going to fly. Bill Cherry doesn’t want that. He has businesses there as well. The neighborhood will not want that. So, we have to think in terms of something other than that. Bill Cherry has taken the liberty of hacking up all of the uses that are normally allowed in a neighborhood business area and reduced that. He has wanted to have a drive-thru for a coffee shop at some point and time. I think that has given a lot of people some heartburn in regard to this application. I agree with them. With that you can imagine maybe that is where that 24/7 comes from. There is just a circular pattern of traffic going around that building through the drive-in getting their coffee or whatever it is. That will be taken off the table. There is not to be a drive-in or a drive-thru. There will not be a drive-thru for this property. We have to have some kind of flavor with something other than that kind of stream of traffic and get it out of everybody’s minds that may be what could happen at that particular site. So, that is off the table. So, we are back to thinking in terms of what Bill Cherry has brought to you this evening in the way of activities. As Mr. Higbee pointed out in a prior application, these are commitments that will be recordable and will be binding on not only Bill Cherry but all the successor owners of the property thereafter.
So, let me kind of capsulize here a minute. You have the Bill Cherry application for a commercial building and he has been approached by administers within the Town before that you may want to think about changing that at some point and time and quit traipsing through every time you change a tenant. It is probably a good idea not just administratively but probably for Bill Cherry to not have to do that sort of thing. You have the Shaffer and Groninger building over there, which is already a commercial building. That is probably not out of the realm of possibility of saying that could be commercial. So, probably the wild card in this thing is the Opalak property but you have to think of it in terms of it already being 80% in the floodway and you can’t build anything in there in the way of new structures for residential purposes. Let me say that in commercial buildings even though you can’t put residential in there there are allowances for commercial buildings to be in that floodway. It is a different set of rules because you don’t have people living there. You are not going to wash the people out. You might wash the desks out of a commercial building but you are not going to be washing people and babies out of the houses. So, there is a different set of rules. That is why the 80% makes it very attractive to think of that property in terms of a commercial designation. I doubt that you have many properties here in Town that have houses on them that old that if something happens to that house in the way of damage can no longer be there. So, it is a matter of what do we use these properties for? Two of the three we know. The third one is restricted in a fashion that he was hoping to be acceptable and palatable. He did not know he was going to have this many people in opposition to him. I think some people told him they did not individually like this particular application. But until you step in the arena you never know what is what from time to time. So, that is what you have this evening. It is not out of the realm to think of these three properties in total. It certainly is not out of realm to think of the two properties that are already commercial buildings. But when you put in everything else in the way of restrictions that are physically on the Opalak property it is not even out of the realm of possibility to consider that for some kind of commercial use.
Mr. Haase said at this time I will open the podium up for anyone who would care to speak on this matter.
Mr. Tony Harbin said my family and I live at 1715 Stafford Road, the property just west of the property that Mr. Cherry is trying to get rezoned from residential to commercial. This is a picture of my property from Stafford Road. We have lived in our current home for 14 years and in Plainfield for 24 years. My wife and I moved to Plainfield when our daughter was ready to start kindergarten because we believed it would be a good place to raise our family. I’m proud of my family and I’m proud to say that I live in Plainfield. I believe my children would have been successful anywhere we lived but Plainfield has proven to be an excellent community that has provided the kind of environment that has helped my children grow into the adults that they have become. I am strongly opposed to the rezoning of the property adjacent to my home. This rezoning to allow commercial property would have an adverse effect on my family’s quality of life and the privacy that we have enjoyed for the last 14 years. I love living in Town but being able to be in my back yard and having a feel of being in the country and having our privacy and I disagree with Mr. Comer. I don’t think that has changed over the time that I have lived there. This is a picture of the back of my property. This is a picture of the property of the boundary of Mr. Opalak’s house. As currently detailed in the plans, at least the plans that I received, I’m also concerned about the possible sanitation issues, safety issues and the environment and the background in the back yard. The privacy is what appealed to my wife and I when we purchased the property 15 years ago from Virgie and Claude Audin and it is still present today and I don’t want to lose that feel. In the current plans I’m against the type of businesses that could be allowed under the current request. I have heard some discussion today about some of those being limited but I wasn’t privy to that prior to tonight’s meeting. Under the zoning request that I was told about I’m against the restaurant business that could have dumpsters in the back of the business. I’m against alcohol being served or sold on the property adjacent to mine. I’m against night and weekend business. I’m against parking at the rear of the building as shown in the plans. I’m against traffic flow around the back of the building or, as mentioned, a drive-thru window. I’m against a large and unfinished retaining wall that I think is shown in the plans along the west of that property. Rezoning the property would also decrease our property value. I don’t believe this fact could or would be contended and as mentioned earlier, I did have a brief meeting at Mr. Comer’s office and from there we called Jack Lawson who confirmed the fact that it would have an adverse effect on our property value. Also, tonight I have Mr. Todd Calhoun, a certified real estate appraiser from the area who will further confirm this.
In summary Plainfield has grown tremendously during the 24 years my family has lived here. I know this commission has a huge responsibility and the authority to manage the growth and the balance of industrial property, commercial property and residential property in our Town. I imagine for every proposal or request that you review you must consider these interests. I realize some industrial/commercial plans and the opportunities that they bring may cause you to subordinate wishes of individual residents for the common good of the community or town. This rezoning request does not bring those opportunities that should cause you to overrule the wishes, the quality of life and the interest of my family. So, I ask you to vote against Mr. Cherry’s rezoning request. I would like to thank you for your time and consideration.
Mr. Haase said I’m going to be a grouch. I run a pretty tight meeting. I’m not going to allow any clapping. I’m not going to allow any booing so I’m not going to favor either side. You can get up and speak and we will be glad to listen to you but we are going to handle it in a professional manner. So, the next person who would like to speak please come forward at this time.
Ms. Tina Harbin said I live at 1715 Stafford Road and I wasn’t prepared really to speak tonight but in light of what my husband just shared with you I would like to add just a few things. The third picture that he presented in front of you showed a perimeter area from Dave Opalak’s home and that was precisely taken where he proposes to put the drive, the “U” drive from the entrance up to his proposed business to the back of his business around to the east side of it, which would be an exit. If you stand at the back where that picture was taken, 70 feet off the property line on your proposed plot plan, that is looking into my back yard where we do probably 90% of our entertaining. You see right into the pool area. You see right into my screened in porch. You have full access to the woods back there. My son is 20 years old. We have been there for almost 15 years and he has been able to fish in the creek. He has been able to play in the back yard and I have not had to worry about traffic that would be coming through a drive-thru window, a business or anything maybe picking him up or anything like that. I plan to stay there unless a business does go in and then I won’t be there. I want to raise my grandchildren there. I want them to be able to play in the back yard just as my son did and to fish and to explore the woods and the trees. We cannot have that if a business goes in there. Tony and I bought that property as residential. It shouldn’t be changed. As far as Virgie or Dave’s property not being usable for residential, I would question that because until the last two or three years, four years max we never had water problems in our land the way that we have seen it in September of last year. I know this because I was close friends with Virgie when she lived there and I think the way that they have done the draining from the apartment complex, Maloney’s office going in there, you want to bring more commercial in there, which is only going to make the water situation worse in Virgie’s property as well as probably ours. So, I would ask you to reconsider. On the east side of SR267 you have an abundance of commercial property going in there. You have to draw a line to stop it. If you let Dave’s property go commercial, are you going to let mine go? Will mine be the next one, if I want to raise my value and make more money off my land by putting in a commercial zoning verses residential? Because that is exactly what the issue is here. He is trying to make more money off of his property so are you going to allow me to let my house go commercial so that I can make more money? What about our community? It needs to stop somewhere. We have the plaza that has empty buildings. You have the old Wal-Mart plaza that can’t even keep businesses in it. You are going to have a future Wal-Mart empty building to fill and you want to tear down a residential house to put more commercial in it when you can’t fill what you have. So, those are my issues and I would ask you to at least address on behalf of Tony and I and our neighbors. We have a great community and I know you guys will do good for us but it really frustrates me because I had planned to be there for many many more years. On a positive note Mr. Carlucci I really appreciate this being our fifth winter without our mailbox being hit by the snowplow trucks. You did a great job fixing that so thank you.
Mr. Bernard Trent from the southeast corner of Walnut Hills at 1731 Beech Drive South said my back yard would be directly across from this house that Mr. Cherry has. This request is not in the best interests of the residents in Walnut Hills. Several of us homeowners have lived in this area for around 26 years. In the past five years we have had a considerable increase in traffic on Stafford Road and Elm Drive due to the new middle school on Elm Drive. We have added Bank One less than two blocks east of this site in the last two years. In 2003 we added assisted living, Roland Retirement homes just south of Bank One. We have a substantial number of homeowners that prefer the subject area all be zoned residential, this area that is being discussed by Mr. Cherry. Walnut Hills has been a quality residential area for 26 years and we ask that Bill Cherry’s request be rejected.
Mr. Haase asked, were you speaking for yourself or for a group?
Mr. Trent said most of these people in here we have about four or five petitions and some of them have been turned in.
Mr. Haase said I have a bunch of papers here.
Mr. Mark Brock said I’m the treasurer of the Walnut Hills Homeowners Association. Bob Mount has presented a letter on behalf of the homeowners association, which you should have before you. You should have also received our petitions. Most of the residents here are a member of our homeowners association. It is a 200 unit or lot association adjacent to properties in the immediate vicinity of the properties being considered. We are concerned about obviously the traffic. If this were to be rezoned retail, it would increase traffic, not only on Stafford Road, but also along Elm Drive. People come to these retail establishments from the north. It is a community that is very much populated with families. My family, as well as a good mix of elderly couples and families that bike walk use the streets around those facilities frequently nightly. We are concerned about that safety and the property values and how it would impact the possible property values of our association members. We respectfully think you will take all of these things into consideration and consider the view points that have been presented to you by Robert Mount who couldn’t attend and that you just respect the 200 property owners. We all have property values and not to lose oversight of where this commission is going as far as retail development and the quarters that they wish to develop. I think Ms. Harbin put it very well when she asked where is that line going to be drawn? I think in your minds and what I can perceive and what the commission is doing and what the Town is doing those lines have been drawn and I hope that you will respectfully continue to abide by the long range plans of the Town.
Mr. Todd Calhoun at 2899 South 1050E said I was sworn in earlier. I have been retained by the Harbin’s to address this body. I’m a certified real estate appraiser. I would like to start with some of Mr. Comer’s contention but even before I do that we were at somewhat of a disadvantage both in visiting the municipal building and in what we received from Mr. Comer’s office relative to the proposed development. It was largely unreadable so I have taken the trouble to find more readable copies. I have some pockets for you that might help you to conceptualize a little bit better where this is located and what is around it. The bottom line is on the north side of the street you have two brick office buildings, one of which is occupied by Mr. Cherry and another tenant. There is a dental office in there. Chuck Mead’s office is in there. It is a largely an office development site and is relative small. That is the one-marked “offices” on the plot map that you have in front of you. The south side of the street is utilized by the current optometrist’s office. I believe it is technically called Plainfield Business Park or Plainfield Development Park. Regardless both of them are zoned residential. The one on the north side is more intense residential and on the south side is less intense residential. The north side is R-3 and the south side is R-2 and immediately adjacent to the optometrist’s office is the Opalak property that Mr. Comer referred to.
The first contention that we would like to make is what he referred to as the 80% issue that Mr. Opalak’s is burdened by. Mr. Opalak according to the deeds provided by Mr. Comer’s office purchased that residence in 1995. He tried to market it in 2002 and was unsuccessful in finding a buyer. The mortgage world’s position relative to flood insurance existed in 1995 just as it does today and there are residential properties in all kinds of locations burdened by flood insurance that sell every day. If he is referring to what we would call an 80% destruction, that would be something that you gentlemen would be more privy to here in Town than I. I’m familiar to what they refer to as burn rules where if a property is more than 80% destroyed by fire or another natural disaster, it cannot be rebuilt. But the reality is that it functions just fine as a house. As a matter of fact, as I said, it was built in 1957 and it has been continuously utilized as a residence since.
I would like for you to take particular note as to where the drive is located in this picture. The development plan, the preliminary development plan, that we received relative to the Opalak property indicates the driveway for what Mr. Cherry proposes would in essence utilize the same space where that driveway currently exists. It would be somewhat wider but it would be located right about there. You can see it in what I provided to you earlier. This is a street scene facing east looking over toward SR267 from that driveway and this is one facing west.
I’m of the understanding that you have, as a body, a responsibility to weigh the overall good over and above the needs of a few given individuals. Our position is there is no overall good in the rezoning of any of these properties let alone this residence on the south side of the street. SR267 and Stafford Road is already known in the County as being one of our highest prone accident sites. One of the reasons that we have so many accidents is that people who are trying to cross SR267 and get past the Marsh Supermarket and shopping center get bottlenecked and they get hung up in the middle of the road. If you add more commercial use to the west side of the Marsh lot, you are simply going to bottleneck traffic even further.
We unfortunately were not privy to the revisions that Mr. Cherry, through Mr. Comer, blotted out from his desire for neighborhood retail zoning so we don’t know what he has marked out. We know what Neighborhood Retail allows under the plan. Amongst the things that are allowed even without Special Exception are restaurants, delicatessen, day cares, convenient stores, laundry, etc., etc., etc.
I would like to bring to your attention the intent of Neighborhood Retail zoning. Per statute Neighborhood Retail commercial districts are established to promote developments of areas for convenience uses, which tend to meet the daily needs of the residents of the immediate Residential Districts. Here they are and they don’t think this is a good idea.
Rezoning what is currently being utilized as office space either in the optometrist building or in Cherry’s office suite on the north side to Neighborhood Retail would not preclude him from changing what is currently done there. If you change him from what he is able to do now, which is office use by variance we assume, although there is a question now according to Mr. Higbee about the south side, couldn’t find a variance for that optometrist office, if you change that to Neighborhood Retail use, you open it up to an entirely different set of uses. I can understand from Mr. Cherry’s prospective that having to come before the board every time he changes an office like tenant is a pain in the behind. That doesn’t mean that he should be given Neighborhood Retail zoning if he truly desires to continue office use in those entities.
Mr. Haase said thank you. I appreciate your paperwork here and pictures. Mr. Comer I don’t know if anyone else wants to speak but you might want to have a little rebuttal. We will open it back up after he has a chance to do a little rebuttal here first.
Mr. Comer said I would just assume that I wait until the end.
Mr. Jack Cummings at 1708 Beech Drive South said I want to apologize first for living in sin for this excessive water table in the Walnut Hills addition and hope that I don’t get my property condemned. Also, I would like to apologize for my poor taste in living in an addition that is 20 years old at least but I continue to live there because I think it is one of the best. I think Mr. Cherry’s attorney has given the most convincing argument for the committee to deny his petition when he lists and itemizes all commercial properties already surrounding the Walnut Hills area. Surely that is enough. We don’t need anymore. Thank you.
Mr. Don Jenkins at 1732 Beech Drive South said I wasn’t planning on saying anything tonight but after hearing what I have heard so far I stand in great dismay and my heart goes out to these people. My concern is anybody in this room right now will tell you that at any given time the intersection of Stafford Road and Elm Drive when schools are letting out or at any other given time for that matter, is a nightmare. To add more commercial to it will create more gridlock. If you put a streetlight in, you just make the gridlock longer. My only other concern is if it is commercial, does that bring lights, a lot of lights? My house faces that. A lot of these people here the back of their house faces that and I’m sure nobody wants lights shining all over their property. We have enough lights now. That is all that I have.
Mr. Jim Wines at 825 Creekside said I live directly behind the Opalak’s house. I purchased that property February 2003, which was about 15-16 months ago at an investment of $230,000.00 and we have three-quarters of an acre and a stream and a great place to raise kids like the Harbin’s talked about. I’m just cattycorner from the Harbin’s. Had I known there would be a coffee shop or a convenient store or laundromat I would not have placed my $230,000.00 investment 16 months ago. I would have done something else. My children play in that back yard. Talking about lights in the wintertime there are no leaves obviously and the lights would flash right into my bedroom and dining room and kitchen at that point. I definitely would have rethought living in Plainfield had I known that would be a possibility.
Mr. Comer said I wanted to go back to the core issue at hand. Anytime you talk about rezoning I don’t care if you are talking about rezoning one residential district to another or if you are talking about going from commercial to industrial or you are talking about a situation where it is from residential to some kind of commercial you often have a good deal of emotion involved because you are dealing with somebody’s home nearby. Anytime you get into that situation it gets touchy and it gets ouchy. Generally the reason for that is because we don’t know what it is going to be there. We don’t know what that building is going to look like. We don’t know where that driveway is going to be. We don’t really know the impact of what that next development is going to be and that creates a fear that cuts to the core of all of us. So, we are dealing with some this evening. I want the folks in the audience to understand that whatever development plan has been submitted with this particular application it is just a draft of something that could happen. You, as a body, know that any development of a commercial building or any development on a house, for that matter, probably is going to have to come back before you. We have in place in the Town of Plainfield now the DRC. We have corridor regulations. We have all kinds of rules and regulations that a developer of a commercial nature has to meet. There are no shabby commercial buildings put in the Town of Plainfield and that is by design and it is by regulation. So, when we think of what might go there, we need to first keep in mind that it is not tonight’s hearing. This is not a site plan review. This is a land use hearing. Is this land suitable for some commercial activity? It may be that if you were so inclined to make a favorable recommendation and the Town Council were to pass this, that Bill Cherry with what he wants to do can’t even be the developer because perhaps he is unable to meet the regulations and rules that you have in place for a commercial design. But the property is there because of land use purposes for somebody to come in and make that development occur. So, we are not here tonight saying where that drive is going to be. We are not here tonight to tell you where that building is going to be located. We are not here to even say what kind of a building is going to be there. Everybody is saying we weren’t privy to the list of uses that were submitted. They have been on file for quite some time. I’m not saying that they knew that or they had the opportunity. Nobody talked to me. That is okay. I understand that but I want you to understand and I want everybody in the audience to understand that Bill Cherry knows that not everything should go on that piece of property.
Let me clear up something. Mr. Calhoun referenced the 50% burn rule. What he is saying there is if fire destroys 50% of the value of that home, if it is in the floodway, you can’t build that building back. I think that is what he was saying. That is my understanding as well. The 80% that I’m talking about is not an 80% destruction rule or burn rule. It is 80% of that lot itself is in the floodway. That is the limitation that the property has. If that building comes down, there can’t be another building placed into that floodway. With the setbacks and everything that we have now with the widening of Stafford I’m not sure there can be a residential structure there at all. The 80% and everything else has been given to you by engineers. That is not an appraisal matter. That is not an attorney matter. It is something that has been sighted to you and has been confirmed through the engineering process.
It is kind of funny when you hear statements made. Statements are made whether I make them or whoever makes them and you think that perhaps it supports what you are saying and in fact there is a flip side to that. Sometimes it is a half full/half empty glass of water. I made the comment that Stafford Road is not what it was many years ago and it really has taken the residential flavor away when we talk about a three-lane road. It is a wide road with the three lanes. It is a great road but when we talk about that, you have had some people this evening mention about all of the added traffic due to commercial out there. They talked about the uses that are out there. Those things support the fact that this isn’t necessarily just a residential neighborhood anymore. We have talked about where do you draw that line in commercial use? That is influenced by such things as the floodplain. It is influenced by buildings there through variance or through whatever means. What I’m telling you is that line has moved. The Comprehensive Plan may say residential but one reason that we do variances is because we do keep a bit of control on that land and that is exhibited by Bill Cherry having to come back to you every time with a new tenant. But at some point and time after that commercial building has been there for eons it is probably going to be a commercial use and that is what has happened with not only the Shaffer building but that is also what has happened with the Bill Cherry building and, as I said, the Comprehensive Plan becomes influenced by the floodway that exists on the Opalak property. I don’t think I disparaged anybody’s houses, I think I said Walnut Hills is a nice development. The Opalak house is a nice home, if you are familiar with it at all. It is a one-story beautiful home but in difference to what Mr. Calhoun is telling you, and I think I’m correct in this statement, I will ask Bud Green who is involved with this transaction to either nod yes or tell me no, but when we talk about devaluing property, it is my understanding in Bud’s opinion this property is being sold for commercial purposes at a price higher than what it would be selling for residential. So, the statements about devaluing are opinions of all of us and I will suggest to you that what they are finding at this marketplace with this property is not a devaluation of the Opalak property because it is next to a commercial building but, in fact, that it has the opportunity to sell for more. So, it is the opposite of devaluing.
Somebody said what may happen? Are we going to tear down that house some day? The answer is if the floods get any worse, the answer is perhaps it is going to have to come down but in this situation they are being straightforward with you saying yes they would like to take it down. Because the commercial activity can occur in that floodway area as far as a rebuilding that can’t happen if it is for residential purposes. That is very key, the owner and the purchaser believe, to be for this particular piece of ground. So, I will reiterate that many of the comments made this evening about traffic, commercial property in the area, in fact, I believe lends itself to considering the three properties commercial. I will also say that the Walnut Hills Shopping Center when it went in, it was put in by the same developer that put together the Walnut Hills residential subdivision. Everybody out there unless they have been there for an awfully long time have purchased in Walnut Hills with that shopping center being there. The difference between that and the Opalak property is you can see it. It is not an unknown. It is there. It may back up to the residential but nevertheless they know what is going to be there. I will suggest that under the standards of the Town of Plainfield tonight we don’t know what is going in there but I will suggest that the regulations that you have and the control that you have will make it a nice commercial development. It can’t be anything but that. With that in mind I think the issue to you this evening is not so much is it suitable for commercial but rather what is the use that may go there? That limitation has been made. If there is something in there that you don’t like that you believe should not be there, we can entertain that this evening. But with that I will answer any questions that you have. Let me reiterate that the drive-thru is gone.
Mr. Haase said I don’t know how the motion is going to go this evening so with that aspect in mind in your Exhibit “B”, the list of uses, I think it would be prudent if we went through it and address my concerns if it would happen to get a favorable recommendation. Under the permitted uses we have clothing service of dressmaking and millinery shop. I don’t believe the food sales and service. I don’t believe a musician. I’m surprised they don’t have an optometrist listed. None of the personal services, none of the recreation and only flower shop and news dealer and stationary and bookstore under retail. That is what I’m viewing. I don’t know how any of the other members have viewed it. I didn’t believe that a bank or even a musician. That would be under office professional.
Mr. Comer said in miscellaneous about half way through on the left hand column that is where we have the optometrist.
Mr. Haase said I don’t know if there is anything else that they feel shouldn’t be there and I don’t know how the petitioner feels or how they will react to those. Should this get a favorable recommendation I don’t think those are appropriate on any of those locations.
Mr. Kirchoff asked, could you name those off again?
Mr. Haase said the clothing service entirety, food service entirety, personal services entirety, recreation entirety. Under retail leaving only the flower shop, news dealer, stationary bookstore, I’m leaving those. Leaving all of the government uses, leaving all of miscellaneous. Under office taking out bank savings and loan and musician. For the audience here tonight under government uses lists government offices, post office. Under miscellaneous, clinical, medical, dental or optometrist. Under office professional services is architect, artist, dentist, design services, engineer, insurance agent, lawyer, physician, pharmacist, graphic studio, professional offices, real estate office, service organization office and travel agency. Under retail is a flower shop, a news dealer and a stationary bookstore. I just read those to you but those are the only ones that I feel like even should be considered to be in that location. Most all of those have been what has been considered by the Board of Zoning Appeals and actually has been located in the past. There are a few others that I haven’t. I don’t know if there are any other board members that want to strike anymore out of that or feel that some should be left in but if you do, please state that at this time. If I don’t hear anything, I guess you agree with me. I don’t know if you spoke with the petitioner and you can respond to that.
Mr. Comer said since I’m representing him and he is not here, he is out of state with a girl’s basketball tournament in Louisiana so that is why he is not here, he will except your striking.
Mr. Haase said with that said is there anything that you would like to close with?
Mr. Comer asked, Mr. Green would you like to make a statement?
Mr. Green said yes.
Mr. Haase said I really think it should just be you since you are representing the petitioner. He had a chance to speak during the public portion of the hearing.
Mr. Comer said I understand and I have nothing more.
Mr. Haase said with that in mind we will close the public portion of this hearing.
Mr. Green said you haven’t closed the public portion, then I’m entitled to speak.
Mr. Daniel said this is a rebuttal.
Mr. Comer said no problem.
Mr. Harbin asked, are we able to rebut?
Mr. Haase said no. With that in mind we will close the public portion of this hearing. The Chair will accept a motion or any further discussion from any board members at this time.
Mr. McPhail said I’m prepared to make a motion but I would like to yield to anybody else who would like to make any comments before I make that motion.
Mr. Kirchoff said I’m the new kid on the block and there were some references in the Staff Report about the history of this site. I don’t know who could help me but could someone perhaps give me some history of how we got to where we are? It is residential but we have allowed some office space there. Can somebody help me with what the history is?
Mr. Daniel said I think I have been representing the Council for over 24 years. I was here when the original variance for the Cherry building was approved. I don’t remember anything about the optometrist building. I don’t know if that was there before that or not.
Mr. Thibo said afterwards.
Mr. Daniel said very briefly when the residential subdivision went in, that lot where the Cherry building is now, and I don’t remember whether it was a floodplain or a floodway but it doesn’t make any difference, at that time you could not put a structure on there where people were sleeping overnight. So, you could not put a residence there. They came in with that as a hardship. P.T. Hardin owned just the lot at that time. He came in and Mr. Cherry petitioned a variance to put a building there. The Board of Zoning Appeals went through an exercise not unlike this commission is going through as far as if we allow something here, how are we going to control the traffic and everything else that might go along with what kind of business goes in there? Residential property owners did remonstrate against any business being in there. At that time the Board of Zoning Appeals essentially said rather than sit here and try to predict the future for the next 20-30-50 years on how any business may develop or what kind of business may develop the way to absolutely control what goes on that property was to grant a variance that required any tenant that went in the building to come back to the Board of Zoning Appeals. And be approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals and they could look at it whether it is one year, five years or 20 years later and say how do we think that business in that building is going to effect that residential area and either approve it or not approve it. That was the basis upon which that variance was granted.
Mr. Kirchoff asked, did we put any other limitations on the use?
Mr. Daniel said no. Since Mr. Cherry has had to come back in and get a tenant approved that is the way the control is exercised by saying we are going to look at the tenant and decide how that will or will not effect that residential area and either approve it or not approve it.
Mr. Haase said he goes through the same noticing that this committee went through. The residents around there are noticed every time he has a potential tenant.
Mr. Daniel said and they are entitled to come in and comment on that.
Mr. Haase said it is two deep or 600 feet whichever.
Mr. Kirchoff asked, Mr. Carlucci do you remember anything?
Mr. Carlucci said Doug Meyer, he came in and we did loosen up on the notice requirement in terms of how many people are noticed. I think it was the homeowners association and a couple of the adjoining property owners that were right next to it. But it still had to come back to the BZA for approval. All they did instead of sending 50 letters out they reduced the number but they still had to go back to the BZA to get the tenants approved. It was only for Mr. Cherry’s buildings. It did not effect Maloney’s at the time but Maloney still had to come in but they haven’t come in because they have never changed.
Mr. Daniel said rather than having to give all of that notice the idea was the homeowners association could be responsible for letting the homeowners know that an application had been made and get the word out.
Mr. Haase said I have heard two on the Board of Zoning Appeals request for tenants to be approved there and under the larger noticing nobody showed up. It got down to just the people that we said that we would notice, the association, etc.
Mr. Kirchoff said I’m talking about the northeast corner now since it is obviously commercial and office usage did we ever consider changing it from residential for that zoning purpose? When we said it is okay to be there, why isn’t it zoned that way?
Mr. Daniel asked, do you mean rather than a variance?
Mr. Kirchoff said yes.
Mr. Haase said I think to maintain a control for the Walnut Hills’ residents from the Town’s standpoint.
Mr. Daniel said that is exactly right.
Mr. Kirchoff said that is helpful. Thank you.
Mr. Thibo said we didn’t have the Comprehensive Plan then Mr. Daniel.
Mr. Daniel said that is correct.
Mr. Haase said the only thing that I would like to say is I know we have had another property to come in that was just one property behind a commercial property that existed out on Smith Road. I believe that is the correct road. It was behind the Rally’s property that was a request for rezoning and we denied that one. It becomes a question of where does it begin and where does it end? Where does it start and where does it stop? I have had a few calls from a few lawyers wanting to know if we would rezone some property on U.S. 40 the corners that had businesses around them. Of course, we denied another one on Masten and U.S. 40 to be rezoned. So, I would have to say that is the Town’s history.
Mr. McPhail said I would like to make a couple of comments in reference to what we have heard tonight. As you have stated, I frequently get requests for residential property to be rezoned. I immediately try to get those people in my vehicle and drive them around Plainfield and show them that we have adequate property available for commercial and retail development. There is plenty of real estate available. I think we have a responsibility to protect our residential areas. This particular area has a natural buffer with the creek there. The home that is there has been there since 1956. It hasn’t flooded although it is in a floodplain. The likelihood that it is going to flood becomes less. We have just gone through two one hundred year floods in the last year. The home is still there. It hasn’t been damaged. I do not see the probability of it happening in the future. It could happen. I certainly realize that. The Neighborhood Retail is not the use that is there now that has been given for a variance. It is a well-controlled office atmosphere. Neighborhood Retail is considerably different and we have plenty of that space available. So, if the Chair is ready, I’m prepared to make a motion.
Mr. Haase said the Chair is ready.
Mr. McPhail made a motion to certify the zone map amendment request of RZ-04-005a rezoning the easternmost lot of the two R-2 lots from R-2 to NR with an unfavorable recommendation. Second Mr. Thibo. Roll call vote called.
Mr. Haase said let everybody know that the Plan Commission does no rezoning. Nothing has been rezoned although the rezoning is still out there for the Town Council to either take our unfavorable recommendation or to agree with us or to disagree with us. And that would be done at the next Town Council meeting.
Mr. Carlucci said it would be this coming Monday night, the 12th at 7:30 p.m. right here in this room.
Mr. Haase said so we have an unfavorable recommendation on all three but the rezoning is still out there and rezoning is done at the Town Council, which will be at the next meeting on Monday at 7:30 p.m. I just want to make everybody understand that.
Mr. Comer said I appreciate you listening to us this evening and appreciate your consideration. I want to say thanks in the audience. You may not understand that but that is part of the process that we go through and good night.
Mr. Haase said thank you for coming and being patient to the end of the meeting. That concludes the public hearings for tonight.
OLD BUSINESS/NEW BUSINESS
Mr. Higbee said there are four items but none of them are long items at all. The first one is required by the PUD rezoning for what we now call Metropolis. It was originally called the Plainfield Marketplace PUD where J. C. Penney’s is. And another phase is being brought in by Premier Properties and there is a requirement before they go to the Plan Commission for approval. They are supposed to come in for a previewing before the Plan Commission. They are just here to give you a quick preview of what will come up at the next Plan Commission.
Mr. Ron Cronk with Premier Properties at 5252 E. 52nd St., Indianapolis said as Mr. Higbee said, I will be quick tonight unless a lot of people have questions. We filed our application for our next phase of the Metropolis development last week. I’m here tonight to give you an introduction of what we filed for and what is going on.
As you know, J. C. Penney was the first phase. It is opened and operating. Those two parking lots were installed at that time. Our application actually started with two phases. We dropped part of it with the Galyan’s situation right now. This right here I call a half circle is what we are in for. It is a movie theater. It is going to be 9,000 square feet. The deal is already signed. It is executed. They are actually out there turning dirt right now. It is 9,000 square feet with 18 screens with stadium seating. It is the State-of-the-arc. They are out of Dallas, Texas. The nearest one in Indiana is actually Ft. Wayne. It is in the Jefferson Point Shopping Center on the south side of town. They have another one in Cincinnati. They don’t do stores in one market. They have one in Alabama and they have one in Florida and Dallas so they are spread out over the country.
Mr. Haase asked, when would you anticipate that getting opened?
Mr. Cronk said they want to open next June.
Mr. Matrana asked, there are 18 screens?
Mr. Cronk said yes.
Mr. Haase said congratulations on getting that signed.
Mr. Cronk said they are signed and like I said this is the only phase we are bringing in right now along with this road here for access purposes. One of the things that we talked about with Mr. McGillem, as part of this, we need to come to an agreement on the road systems. We are working on that. Between Mr. McGillem and Mr. Belcher and myself, as far as what roads need to be in place for the theater, I think we all conceptually agree on what needs to happen from that standpoint. After talking with Mr. McGillem today and the attorneys we need to get in a room and start figuring that out.
This was a petition for Galyan’s and we withdrew that for now. Ironically they are still working on it architecturally. They are doing business as usual. It is an executed deal from the standpoint that we have a lease with them, a five-year operating covenant. We just are not allowed to talk to Dick’s legally about the Galyan’s deal. We are trying to figure that out now. We have obligations per the lease. We still have to meet and work through that problem.
This is the site plan. Conceptually you can see the site plan hasn’t changed much from the last time. This is the theater. This is the front of the building and this is actually specific to this project. This view right here is the east entry. The entry is going to be pointing into the shopping center. It is not going to point to the exterior. The back is all service so what you see here is not going to be interior to the shopping center.
Mr. Thibo asked, would that be close to Penney’s?
Mr. Cronk said not necessarily. It is a pretty big distance from Penney’s.
Mr. Thibo asked, south?
Mr. Cronk said southwest. This is all glass. Where you see all of the glass that is their actual prototype look and that is what they are concerned about the most in keeping that integrity. They do that from store to store. This is their prototype signage. You can see a lot of different color variations. This is a green and blue glazed type block. It gives a matrix type feel. The materials that they are proposing on the building currently on the front of the building they are doing a stone base all across the front. They have the glazed block that you can see. They have EFIS on the top. They also have a lot of split face as well.
Mr. Thibo asked, how many entrances do you have?
Mr. Cronk said there is only one main entrance but there are a lot of access points for exiting purposes. They have exiting stairs at all points of the building and the services are on the other side of the building.
Mr. Haase said I see a lot of orange but right here I see a lot of red.
Mr. Cronk said this is an actual color and it actually looks more orange. That is the actual color of what it is.
Mr. Haase said I like that more than that.
Mr. Cronk said that is what you will see. So, without getting too technical tonight this is Rave and like I said they want to open in June of next year. We are excited to have them.
Mr. Carlucci said you say that you are actually moving dirt now.
Mr. Cronk said we are just turning dirt.
Mr. Haase said two things beyond this are you done with what you are presenting?
Mr. Cronk said yes.
Mr. Haase said that road beside Mike’s Car Wash has never been paved.
Mr. Cronk said I have a contract to have it paved. I will find out why it hasn’t been done yet.
Mr. Haase asked, what about that road just south of BW3 as it leads out to Perry? Can that be top coated this year?
Mr. Cronk said it is going to be moved now. That is part of the road plan that Mr. McGillem and I have been working on. That whole road is not going to be connected to Perry anymore. Right now that road sits about right here and we are going to relocate it to right here to line up with the access point we have already created.
Mr. Haase asked, would that be right behind Target?
Mr. Cronk said Target is right here so it is about 500 feet south of Target. This is the entrance that goes back of Penney’s and we are going to line up the entry on the other side of the road and eliminate the other one.
Mr. Haase asked, what do you plan on doing then?
Mr. Cronk said that is going to go away and I guess we can develop this side.
Mr. Haase asked, any time soon?
Mr. Cronk said I guess that will be dictated as part of this road agreement.
Mr. McGillem said what Mr. Belcher and I have indicated and discussed with Mr. Cronk is that the Rave’s Theater before they come in here to present to the Plan Commission for us to respond positively from a traffic standpoint that we need to have an agreement that identifies not only what has to be done but who is going to be doing it and who is going to be paying for it and when it has to be done by. One of the things with Rave’s here is with the main access that they have we are looking at the east/west connection on Perry Road. That intersection has to be done. We are looking at an intersection at Target where Penney’s currently comes out that is supposed to be signalized having to be done. And the other intersection from Perry, which includes the realignment of the Plainfield Commons drive that you are talking about to line up with the south Penney’s drive. We are wanting to get all of those intersections done before Rave’s opens because this is an 18-screen theater and we are looking at a bunch of traffic. And the other thing that we don’t want to do is every time something new comes in is having another intersection on Perry Road and Perry Road tied up.
Mr. Haase said I agree. Since they have gone farther south with that main building with Old Navy and particularly with this I think it all needs to be finished out this time.
Mr. Cronk said I agree and I think the condition of the approval is going to get that relocated.
Mr. Haase said I don’t want you to have to do it twice but it just needs to be done.
Mr. Cronk said it has to move there anyway. We have already dictated that and it has to align.
Mr. McGillem said we are getting too much traffic right now coming out of the south Penney’s drive coming down and making a “U” turn.
Mr. Cronk said we propose right now, and we are still working on this, but I think Mr. McGillem and Mr. Belcher like the idea as well, that we have a signalized intersection proposed and we are proposing doing two roundabouts at these points as opposed to the traditional intersection. Because they are going to be non-signalized intersections we don’t do roundabouts and you can kind of see the problems that they would create if it is a non-signalized intersection with the four lane Perry Road already there and the circle intersections people like them now. They are starting to learn how to use them.
Mr. McGillem said they are planning on coming in August 2nd. From Mr. Belcher and my prospective we would like to be able to have a staff report to say that we have this agreement that has been pretty well worked out. And will be available for the Council to see so that if you approve this on the 2nd, it would be subject to the Council entering into the agreement with Premier for getting these things done. So, any approvals on the 2nd would have to be subject to the condition of an agreement, which means a lot has to be done.
Mr. Haase said it sounds like a good plan. Are you getting that road plan in place before the August 2nd meeting?
Mr. Cronk said I think we have a road plan on paper. I have the numbers as far as cost estimates. I have timing matrix. I’m going to get that to Mr. McGillem and what we need to do after that is get our attorney to draft up a proposal.
Mr. Haase said I think from the Plan Commission’s standpoint we would like to see that in place before the August 2nd meeting.
Mr. Cronk said I think it has to be in place.
Mr. Kirchoff asked, we haven’t come to an agreement have we?
Mr. McGillem said we haven’t. That was what I was getting ready to say.
Mr. Cronk said I was saying from a road standpoint conceptually I think we are on the same page as far as what needs to be constructed and what needs to be in place.
Mr. Haase said whose pocketbook is paying for it is the next question but I think that is the finalization of the agreement that Mr. McGillem was telling me about that I’m trying to ask Mr. Cronk to have in place with the Town before the August 2nd meeting.
Mr. McGillem said the engineering and the traffic analysis of what has to be done is the easy part. The rest of the agreement as far as when it is going to be done, who is going to do it and who is going to pay for it is the tough part.
Mr. Kirchoff said we had a meeting and talked about some of this and we are supposed to have a second meeting and recent developments have forced us to postpone that.
Mr. Higbee said we have been stressing that point. Three weeks is what they tell us they have left to do that.
Mr. Haase said it may have to continue to September if we don’t have that agreement in place. Thank you for coming in.
Mr. Higbee said the next item in the interest of time I’m going to zone in on one item out of the compliance report that requires action and that is item number 10, Mr. Lampe at 846 E. Main St. On July 1 Ms. Payne noted that the red truck that you might recall was on his property in violation of the past is back. It has been on a couple of different properties that he owns and has been in violation on both properties. In November he was here and that was among other violations that he was told to correct. At the time the Plan Commission said if he was ever to not comply again, that fining could begin immediately. So, we are asking you if we should be fining him immediately.
Mr. McPhail made a motion to begin fining immediately Mr. Lampe for the violation of the red truck. Second by Mr. Matrana. Motion carried.
Mr. Higbee said I assume retroactive to the date that we saw it.
Mr. Haase said yes.
Ordinance amendments recertification
Mr. Higbee said the next item is a recertification of the Plainfield Zoning Ordinance amendments because one article was amended with language that Mr. Daniel drafted. It was Article 9.1 of the PZO, which is the article that talks about legal non-conforming uses.
Mr. Daniel said I brought that to three or four different meetings. This is one meeting that I didn’t bring it. I know that the members here that are on the Town Council are familiar with it. But what the amendment essentially did, as far as expanding or increasing the legal non-conforming use to the point that you lost your legal non-conforming status, has been revised to indicate that to the extent of increased traffic and more intense use and that sort of thing. The way that our ordinance is drafted now because you actually build more buildings or use more of the property and that sort of thing you can continue with a non-conforming use. It is believed that you can do a lot of things on a piece of property that substantially changes that use without adding more buildings or utilizing more of the real estate. But because the Town Council when they approved those amendments, amended those commitments it has to come back to the Plan Commission for a recertification. And the Town Council is required to provide in writing their reasons for the amendment and put into the record with Mr. Brandgard’s signature on it.
Mr. Kirchoff made a motion to approve the memorandum from the Town Council about amendments to Article 9.1F of the Plainfield Zoning Ordinance. And to recertify the approval of the amendments. Second by Mr. Matrana. Motion carried.
Mr. Haase said Mr. Carlucci has the paper that needs to be filed.
Mr. Higbee said as I understand it from Mr. Daniel, that means all of the amendments are now in effect so I can start administering those now.
Mr. Daniel said since they approved that they are in effect retroactive back when the Town Council approved it.
Report on the Comprehensive Plan Update
Mr. Higbee said the last item that I have I had put in all of your packets as well as the Town Council and Staff the latest draft of the Comprehensive Plan. As you will notice, it was broken into two pieces with an executive summary. I suggest that you should probably focus on the executive summary because the bigger document just supports and mirrors the executive summary. I have read about half of it so far. It just came in late last week. It has a memo from HNTB with a suggestion for scheduling some meetings. That is just a suggestion. My question to you is what do you want to do in terms of continuing on with the process and scheduling some meetings and I will ask the Town Council the same question on Monday.
Mr. Carlucci said I think there needs to be a joint meeting with the Town Council and the Plan Commission to go through this.
Mr. Higbee said they didn’t put the Council on there but I mentioned that to them on July 14. It says steering committee and Plan Commission but I suggested Council but should it be July 14, which is a Wednesday?
Mr. Haase said I won’t be here but that is okay if you want to do it without me.
Mr. Thibo asked, what is the date?
Mr. Higbee said they suggested July 14. I don’t think that is thrilling anybody here. It is probably a little bit too quick.
Mr. Thibo said yes. I haven’t read it all yet.
Mr. Kirchoff said when we talked the last time, there was a sense of urgency to get on with it. I think we ought to do it this month.
Mr. Haase said I’m going to be gone all next week.
Mr. Carlucci said we try to keep it off Wednesday nights if we can.
Mr. Higbee asked, what about the 29th? That would be a Thursday and another two weeks away. Are there any other meetings that night?
Mr. Carlucci said I’m not aware of any.
Mr. Haase said I think the school had one but it got extended for the next week.
Mr. Kirchoff said they moved it to the 29th.
Mr. Haase said I just got a letter now that says it has been changed to the week after that I believe.
Mr. Kirchoff said I thought the letter said they moved it from the 22nd to the 29th.
Mr. Haase said I just briefly glanced at it.
Mr. Higbee said we could move it back two days to the 27th.
Mr. Kirchoff said the Town Council will not be at the 29th meeting.
Mr. Carlucci said we don’t need to be there anyway.
Mr. Haase said only if you were on the yellow ribbon task force.
Mr. Higbee asked, would the 27th be okay?
Mr. Haase said that would be fine with me as far as I know.
Mr. Higbee said I will see if I can confirm that with HNTB and if that works, I will e-mail you on it.
Mr. Haase said I know that everybody got this Westwood LLC thing. This is some good communication that at least one of them is doing. It says that Westwood is going to be closed as of October 1, which evidently means it is a done deal.
Mr. McPhail said that letter says that they have offered anybody who wants to move their trailer to Echo Lake in Morgan County can.
Mr. Carlucci said that is Westwood and not Shrums.
Mr. Haase said this letter actually says, “we will host a meeting for Westwood and Shrums’ residents.”
Mr. McPhail said I don’t know that he offered to let Shrums go to Echo Lake. I’m not sure about that but I think he did.
Mr. Kirchoff said I provide transportation for some residents out there and they said they have been offered $4,000.00 for moving assistance and also they talked about that they could go down there. The family that I was talking to didn’t want to move out of Hendricks County. At least they gave them an option.
Mr. Haase said things seem to be working much better. It would be nice if the newspaper was out here to report that.
Mr. Kirchoff made a motion to adjourn. Second by Mr. McPhail. Motion carried.
Mitchell P. Haase, President